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POV: Facebook F8 Developer Conference Summary

Background:

Facebook hosted F8 its annual global developer conference in San Jose last week. F8 sees Facebook’s marketing partners and more than 1,700 developers and from all over the world attending two days of sessions, workshops, and product demonstrations.  Below are the main announcements from this year’s conference:

Facebook Messenger 2.0: Facebook introduced Messenger Platform 2.0 which included updates around business discovery, AI-powered experiences and advanced developer tools. Compared to their predecessors, the bots will be less chatty and instead act more as assistants rather than conversation partners, better matching what’s compatible with today’s trends in technology. With the new Messenger Platform 2.0, businesses will be able to benefit from additional discoverability in Messenger through a new Discover tab, set up automatic replies to FAQs, and chat extensions, which allow bots to interact in existing conversations or groups.

Facebook Spaces A new VR app called Facebook Spaces allows you to hang-out with your Facebook friends and family, have fun, and share experiences as if you were in the same room, no matter where you are in the world. Launching in early access for Oculus Rift, this is only the beginning as we continue to explore how VR can open new ways for people to connect with each other; a virtual Facebook. While Facebook is thinking about ways that businesses could participate in the future, they are focused right now on making the best consumer experience possible. If brands have produced 360 content, people will be able to bring those videos or photos into their Spaces environment to view with friends.

Camera Effects Platform: One of the biggest announcements at F8 was the new “Camera Effects Platform” that provides an opportunity for brands and developers to create effects for the new Facebook Camera. Included with this new platform are two creative tools that give the Facebook community the power to create a full spectrum of camera effects, from simple frames to interactive effects, 3D masks, and augmented reality

360 Video Technology: Facebook announced updates to their dynamic streaming technology to significantly improve video resolution for 360 video audiences, while making high-resolution 360 video streaming available on a broader range of devices, even in low bandwidth.

Facebook Analytics: An update to Facebook analytics to help businesses better understand customer behaviour across devices and channels. This update enables brands to measure and optimize their complete customer journey across mobile, web, bots on Messenger, and now Facebook Pages and Offline Conversions. Facebook Analytics will also be launching automated insights, custom dashboards, and additional enhancements to existing features.

Marketing API v2.9: The introduction of the new version of the Marketing API — version 2.9. The updates are designed to enable advertisers to easily leverage new automation solutions to drive efficiencies in their advertising workflows.

Summary:

It was the first conference since founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a 10-year plan for Facebook last year, focusing on technologies that will completely transform the way consumers use the platform. In the opening keynote on Day 2, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer talked about Facebook’s goal to develop technology that will help everyone build global community. To do that, they are investing heavily in several foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality