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.
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.
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.
Zuckerberg brings up his impending 30th birthday, and 10 year anniversary of first meeting his wife, plus Facebook’s 10th anniversary.
His point is that f8 is all about the devs, though, which is cool.
“One thing you didn’t hear is some exciting new direction or product from us” no kidding Zuck.
He’s really jazzed about the Audience Network. Probably because money.
Mark Zuckerberg returning to the stage now.
Target doesn’t have to talk to these apps individually, FB does the legwork of linking Target with its ideal destination apps and developers.
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.
No parsing audience, no billing, no reporting, no nothing. Facebook now does this all for you.
Introducing the Facebook Audience Network
This is the most glowing description of advertising I’ve ever witnessed.
Over 1 million advertisers on Facebook now, which Liu ascribes to their targeting system and campaign tools.
Now talking about “beautiful and relevant” ads in the Facebook mobile home stream.
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.
“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.
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.
Money can be used for a lot of things, Liu says, basically.
Next up, Deb Liu, a project management director at Facebook focused on revenue. She’ll be talking making money.
Use of engagement ads drove a 20 percent increase in paid bookings for Yplan, and a 215 percent return on investment, FB says.
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.
The facts are that people often download these apps through ads and then never use them again, Archibong admits. Hence FB’s Engagement Ads.
It’s used in 60 percent of the top mobile apps, Archibong says.
Facetune was one app that has driven a lot of installs.
Mobile App Ads being discussed now.
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
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.
This adds Messenger sharing options to content on mobile apps, which formats it for one-to-one or one-to-group inclusion in messages.
Last new organic tool is a message dialog, which is a quick and easy way to share content through the messenger app.
Like button on our articles within the mobile app.
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.
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.
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.
Archibong is talking about how with coaching, the big problem is not being able to teach kids how to grow physically – literally impossible.
Now on stage is Ime Archibong, FB product partnerships director
AppLinks.org is where to go to find out more about this.
Mailbox is baking it right in, meaning links in emails will open directly in apps, with a route back to your inbox.
Hulu, Vevo, Venmo, Pinterest etc. are launching AppLinks today.
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.
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.
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.
Deep links on any platform, including mobile.
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.
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.
“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.
AIM shoutout. Respect.
Now up for discussion: The “beautiful” URL, which Sukhar calls “the fundamental unit of sharing.”
With just a few lines of code, developers can now introduce queries to their software that work just as well offline as on.
For a lot of people, however, offline is the default. Parse is introducing Parse Local Datastore today to address that.
“It’s not impossible to build apps that work well offline; it’s just hard.”
Now discussing times when we as users don’t have a mobile connection, audience is like “yeah now dude”
New dashboards for Parse include a growth snapshot, retention chart.
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.
Changes to Parse today include new cheaper pricing, and expansion of free tier features.
Now showing some sample clients, including Samsung, Showtime, Orbitz, Line, Deezer, and so on forever and ever.
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.
Showing off the genuinely impressive, tiny amounts of code required to implement standard but otherwise complicated features in cross-platform apps now.
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).
Three products under Parse – Parse Core for operations, servers, etc. Parse Push for notifications, and Parse Analytics for understanding user engagement and interaction.
Explaining Parse – application backend and frontend framework designed to greatly reduce reinvention of the wheel for developers.
He’s talking the “Build” pillar of today’s event.
FB product manager Ilya Sukhar (former Parse CEO) is now on stage.
Not quite a Snapchat move, but it is a nod to the fact that anonymity is of growing importance to users.
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).
FB now introducing “Anonymous Login”
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.
Friend data sharing is also something that can “surprise” users, so FB is changing how that works.
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.
New sign-in dialog gives users line-by-line control over what you share with each individual app.
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.
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.
“People want more control over how they share their information, especially with apps […] we take this really seriously.”
Users are the most important community served by Facebook, says Zuck.
Stability was first big theme, “Putting people first” is next.
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.
Even if they change in the future, Zuck says they guarantee they’ll support old versions for at least two years from launch.
“Today for the first time, we’re introducing a 2 year stability guarantee for all of our core APIs and platforms”
New mantra is “move fast with stable infra” hahaha
Zuck says FB is dropping the “move fast and break things” mantra, because slowing down to fix bugs was too slow.
As FB apps have grown, their handling has grown. They now handle 470 billion api calls per day, with 350 billion on FB alone.
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.
Zuck says building the same thing over and over for different mobile stacks is really annoying.
It can be annoying to build for mobile because “mobile is so silent”
They’ve made the transition over the past three years to being primarily a mobile company
$3 billion in payments processed via Facebook in the last year alone.
What FB can do to best support this is provide a “stable mobile platform” says Zuck.
What they’ve heard is that people want them to help build, grow and monetize great new apps.
Wants to bring the community together once a year to talk about what FB is doing for devs.
He says this will “be a different kind of f8”
And we’re underway with Mark Zuckerberg, FB CEO and founder.
People are getting seated as the show’s about five minutes away from the start.
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