Facebook chief creative officer Mark D’Arcy spoke at Skift Global Forum in September about the importance of mobile innovation for travel companies and the need to master the social media networks that consumers are using. Skift

Skift Take: It's not surprising that the chief creative officer of Facebook thinks travel companies should get smarter about using — and ostensibly advertising on — Facebook products. But he also adds insight on why mobile is so crucial for travel companies to master and why virtual reality is less important.

— Hannah Sampson

Virtual reality has earned a lot of buzz even as travel companies struggle to make the most out of the technology.

Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s chief creative officer, doesn’t think they should struggle all that much. Speaking at Skift Global Forum this fall, he said virtual reality is valuable to a degree.

“Is it useful? Absolutely. Should you be knowledgeale about it? Absolutely,” he said. “But if I was going to stack rank things that will drive your business at scale now, I wouldn’t put it at the top of where I’d invest a vast amount of money and time.”

D’Arcy said one area he thinks travel businesses should be working harder at is Instagram — which, of course, is owned by Facebook.

“We weren’t there when magazines were invented, but boy we’re really at the beginning of this,” he said. “Every brand in the world can have a competitive advantage just being smarter than anyone else. And the way to get smarter is to make more and learn more and maybe not be perfect the first time but just get faster and faster, having your creative department be a learning department.”

Even if travel companies get smarter about Instagram Stories, for example, D’Arcy pointed out that their best customers are probably still better at using the platform.

“They know more about it than you do, they have taste about it that’s probably more refined,” he said. “And I don’t mean that as an insult, because they are by the very volume and engagement with it living through these platforms.”

Watch the entire interview above, and find more coverage of Skift Global Forum here.

At this year’s Skift Global Forum in New York City, travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration, information, and conversation for panels such as this, as well as solo TED-like talks on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2018 events.