Facebook's plans for the future

Whatever we use Facebook for now, the company is betting we'll use it for much more in the future.

Tom's Guide staff writer Cherlynn Low joined Facebook as a teenager. But unless she's tracking her friends' birthdays, she no longer considers it her primary social network.

Facebook boasts 650 million more active monthly users than the next closest social network and more than a billion more users than Instagram, which Facebook also owns.

But younger generations seem less enamored with the Facebook and so the company has sought to diversify.

Low said that Facebook recently acquired an app called MSQRD that has Snapchat-like face filters.

Users may now use emojis to respond to posts and spend their screen-time communicating with chat bots.

"For you to talk to someone when you're bored but don't have actual friends," Low said.

But in addition to gimmicky fun, Facebook has also acquired companies, developed hardware, and announced plans to establish itself as more than a social network.

"They're trying to keep pace with Snapchat," Low said. "They're also at the same time, though, trying to compete with maybe Google."

Facebook wants to spread free Wi-Fi around the world with giant drones.

Zuckerberg pledged his support for a laser-powered nano-spacecraft.

Oculus Rift finally shipped.

Surround 360 hopes to compete with GoPro.

And a new newsfeed with Twitter.

Facebook also stole the head of its new research lab from Google.

And this careless list fails to include any of the thousands of secret patents and projects the company hasn't announced.

If even a few of those prove successful, the Facebook we know now and the Facebook we see in the future won't look that similar at all.