Facebook f8 2014 Developer Conference Keynote Live Blog

Next Story

Surprise! Mobile Users Are Internet Savvy

Today is the day: Facebook kicks off its 2014 f8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, with a keynote beginning at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET). You can follow along right here as we bring you live updates from that event. This year’s f8 is the first one since 2011, and we’re anticipating plenty of news coming out of this one. Already, the company has unwrapped its mobile ad network, and we’re also predicting some announcements around ecommerce and user testing initiatives. There’s a live video stream here, but you can also catch all the salient details as they happen below.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:05 am

Hack love + normal love (?). And on that note, this keynote is a wrap! Thanks for joining us. Please check out our ongoing coverage of f8 and all the announcements Facebook made today

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:03 am

On the 10th anniversary we brought the company together to talk about our culture, he says. “We have this really strong hacker culture,” but that culture is focused on “us” at FB, not those they serve. Goal for next 10 years is to build culture of outward love that’s “as strong or stronger” than culture of self-love essentially.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:02 am

Zuckerberg brings up his impending 30th birthday, and 10 year anniversary of first meeting his wife, plus Facebook’s 10th anniversary.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:01 am

His point is that f8 is all about the devs, though, which is cool.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:01 am

“One thing you didn’t hear is some exciting new direction or product from us” no kidding Zuck.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:01 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:00 am

He’s really jazzed about the Audience Network. Probably because money.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201411:00 am

Mark Zuckerberg returning to the stage now.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:59 am

Target doesn’t have to talk to these apps individually, FB does the legwork of linking Target with its ideal destination apps and developers.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:58 am

It’s just a few lines of code for developers, FB takes care of the rest. Now also discussing native advertising in addition to banners and interstitials. First example is Target, which wanted to target users who watch Frozen. FB found these users in myriad apps.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:57 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:57 am

No parsing audience, no billing, no reporting, no nothing. Facebook now does this all for you.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:56 am

Introducing the Facebook Audience Network

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:56 am

This is the most glowing description of advertising I’ve ever witnessed.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:55 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:55 am

Over 1 million advertisers on Facebook now, which Liu ascribes to their targeting system and campaign tools.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:54 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:54 am

Now talking about “beautiful and relevant” ads in the Facebook mobile home stream.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:53 am

Lessons FB learned: traditional advertising still works on mobile, and we had to reinvent how ads look on FB as a natural part of the experience.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:53 am

“How do I make money on mobile?” is most often asked question. Facebook uniquely positioned to answer this because they were in the same position a few years ago.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:52 am

375 million people play games with Facebook every month, over 100 devs on the platform are making more than $1 million, and as mentioned before over $3 billion in transactions have been processed on FB.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:51 am

Money can be used for a lot of things, Liu says, basically.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:51 am

Next up, Deb Liu, a project management director at Facebook focused on revenue. She’ll be talking making money.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:50 am

Use of engagement ads drove a 20 percent increase in paid bookings for Yplan, and a 215 percent return on investment, FB says.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:49 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:49 am

In-app events, which are unique to your app and which call users back into your app based on the fact that you’ve performed some action in FB.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:48 am

The facts are that people often download these apps through ads and then never use them again, Archibong admits. Hence FB’s Engagement Ads.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:47 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:47 am

It’s used in 60 percent of the top mobile apps, Archibong says.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:46 am

Facetune was one app that has driven a lot of installs.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:46 am

Mobile App Ads being discussed now.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:45 am

Two tracks, one with $5,000 worth of services for new co’s, and one with $30,000 for startups in the acceleration phase. http://fb.com/start

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:44 am

Includes the partners listed in the picture, which all are offering services through the program.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:44 am

Now announcing a new program aimed at startups. This will offer up to $30,000 in free tools and services to get new apps “up and running” fast.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:43 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:43 am

This adds Messenger sharing options to content on mobile apps, which formats it for one-to-one or one-to-group inclusion in messages.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:42 am

Last new organic tool is a message dialog, which is a quick and easy way to share content through the messenger app.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:42 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:42 am

Like button on our articles within the mobile app.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:41 am

TechCrunch shoutout!

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:41 am

New problem is to get engagement back to the web property. How to get Likes, which are desktop only? Now there’s a mobile Like button as of today.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:40 am

Problem is that people are coming from web and you want these same people to engage with your mobile app, not the web. To solve, FB built “send to mobile” which delivers a push notification reminder to download an app to your smartphone.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:39 am

He says devs are also asking about growth, and this is also a difficult question. But this is “when [he] gets excited.” Now talking about the evolution of organic growth tools.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:39 am

Archibong is talking about how with coaching, the big problem is not being able to teach kids how to grow physically – literally impossible.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:38 am

Now on stage is Ime Archibong, FB product partnerships director

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:38 am

AppLinks.org is where to go to find out more about this.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:37 am

Mailbox is baking it right in, meaning links in emails will open directly in apps, with a route back to your inbox.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:36 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:36 am

Hulu, Vevo, Venmo, Pinterest etc. are launching AppLinks today.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:36 am

You pass it a web URL, and you get back whatever mobile apps are available. “We crawl the web for you, you don’t have to do it – but you can, you just don’t have to.” Finally a single line of code for either iOS or Android to provide the return link to bring users back.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:35 am

It’s an open source SDK that Facebook is pushing for developers to adopt. Works with a set of meta tags on the web, or with an API for mobile.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:34 am

Demo now of how this works. In Quip, he clicks a link in a document to a song, which launches SoundCloud and starts the music. Then hits a link at the top to jump back to Quip, then clicks a link to a book, which jumps into another app, then same bar to go back. Now a poem link, jumps to Wattpad, status bar brings you back.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:33 am

Deep links on any platform, including mobile.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:33 am

Answer to the problem is to make it really easy for developers to send users to the places they want to go, and then come back. Introducing AppLinks.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:32 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:32 am

World of mobile has no way to use links to go straight to the locations in other apps where you want to be, and that’s the problem. 

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:32 am

“It’s a shame that [the URL] is not a big deal on mobile right now. Why is that?” Now going into how URLs don’t behave as needed in mobile apps, because you get stuck in a mobile web browser.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:31 am

AIM shoutout. Respect.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:31 am

Now up for discussion: The “beautiful” URL, which Sukhar calls “the fundamental unit of sharing.”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:30 am

With just a few lines of code, developers can now introduce queries to their software that work just as well offline as on.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:29 am

For a lot of people, however, offline is the default. Parse is introducing Parse Local Datastore today to address that.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:29 am

“It’s not impossible to build apps that work well offline; it’s just hard.”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:28 am

Now discussing times when we as users don’t have a mobile connection, audience is like “yeah now dude”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:27 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:27 am

New dashboards for Parse include a growth snapshot, retention chart.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:26 am

Core now offers unlimited requests at up to 30 per second, Push now offers unlimited notifications for up to 1 million users, and Analytics still offers analysis of unlimited data points free.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:25 am

Changes to Parse today include new cheaper pricing, and expansion of free tier features.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:25 am

Now showing some sample clients, including Samsung, Showtime, Orbitz, Line, Deezer, and so on forever and ever.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:24 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:24 am

Parse joined with 60,000 apps on the platform, now at over 260,000 built. Over 140,000 new developers have come on board this past year.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:23 am

Showing off the genuinely impressive, tiny amounts of code required to implement standard but otherwise complicated features in cross-platform apps now.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:22 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:22 am

Now using the f8 apps as an example of what Parse can offer devs. This is basically a big explanatory ad right now (which makes a lot of sense given the purpose of this event).

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:21 am

Three products under Parse – Parse Core for operations, servers, etc. Parse Push for notifications, and Parse Analytics for understanding user engagement and interaction.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:20 am

Explaining Parse – application backend and frontend framework designed to greatly reduce reinvention of the wheel for developers.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:19 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:19 am

He’s talking the “Build” pillar of today’s event.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:19 am

FB product manager Ilya Sukhar (former Parse CEO) is now on stage.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:18 am

Not quite a Snapchat move, but it is a nod to the fact that anonymity is of growing importance to users.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:18 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:17 am

Allows you login without providing any information about who you are, but does allow for cross-platform syncing since it ties your login to a persistent (but anonymous unique identifier).

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:16 am

FB now introducing “Anonymous Login”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:16 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:16 am

You can no longer authorize the sharing of friend data with apps, each user has to authorize on their own (we’d heard this might be on the docket today). Big win for privacy.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:15 am

Friend data sharing is also something that can “surprise” users, so FB is changing how that works.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:14 am

Includes things like email, biographical details and likes. “With the new login, I can sign in on my own terms,” says Zuckerberg. This helps increase user comfort with apps.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:14 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:14 am

New sign-in dialog gives users line-by-line control over what you share with each individual app.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:13 am

Logic is that if you’re using an app you’re worried is spammy, you’re not going to want to give it very much access.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:13 am

He says that the network needs to be able to get users to trust Facebook and FB sign-in, for devs and for the community.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:12 am

“People want more control over how they share their information, especially with apps […] we take this really seriously.”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:12 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:12 am

Users are the most important community served by Facebook, says Zuck.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:11 am

Stability was first big theme, “Putting people first” is next.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:11 am

Every API launched by FB will now be versioned, and devs can choose which version to build on. Also committed to a 48 hour major bug fix turnaround in its new service level agreement.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:10 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:10 am

Even if they change in the future, Zuck says they guarantee they’ll support old versions for at least two years from launch.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:10 am

“Today for the first time, we’re introducing a 2 year stability guarantee for all of our core APIs and platforms”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:09 am

New mantra is “move fast with stable infra” hahaha

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:09 am

Zuck says FB is dropping the “move fast and break things” mantra, because slowing down to fix bugs was too slow.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:08 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:08 am

As FB apps have grown, their handling has grown. They now handle 470 billion api calls per day, with 350 billion on FB alone.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:07 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:07 am

FB’s goal is to be the cross platform platform, offering tools that devs need to grow, build and monetize everywhere. Says their expertise comes from their own experience.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:06 am

Zuck says building the same thing over and over for different mobile stacks is really annoying.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:06 am

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:06 am

It can be annoying to build for mobile because “mobile is so silent”

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:05 am

They’ve made the transition over the past three years to being primarily a mobile company

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:05 am

$3 billion in payments processed via Facebook in the last year alone.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:05 am

What FB can do to best support this is provide a “stable mobile platform” says Zuck.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:04 am

What they’ve heard is that people want them to help build, grow and monetize great new apps.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:04 am

Wants to bring the community together once a year to talk about what FB is doing for devs.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:04 am

He says this will “be a different kind of f8″

Darrell Etherington April 30, 201410:04 am

And we’re underway with Mark Zuckerberg, FB CEO and founder.

Darrell Etherington April 30, 20149:56 am

People are getting seated as the show’s about five minutes away from the start.