Today marked the first day of F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, and the company announced a ton of stuff!
Some of it is bigger than others, though — so we’ve wrapped up all the most important stuff from today in one easy-to-digest list. Enjoy!
Click any image for our full article on the topic…
Understanding The Big Picture Of F8
Facebook wants to be more than a single app. It wants to be a family of apps that serve diverse use cases and protect each other from disruption. Thanks to Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, and outside developers, Facebook has maintained its reign for 11 years. But it will have to give third-party developers and marketers confidence in Facebook’s longstanding stability if it wants to keep the family together.
Messenger As A Platform:
As we absolutely scooped so hard last week, Facebook is opening up Messenger as a platform for developers. That means developers will be able to add in new functionality to Messenger — things like Giphy for on-the-fly GIF searching, goofy voice changers for voice messages, a drawing pad for doodling things up for your friends, etc. Think of it like a mini-app store within Messenger.
New Realtime Comments System:
Facebook’s Comment system (like the one you see in use at the bottom of this post) is pretty solid, but it’s been a while since it got much love.
Today, it’s seeing a bit of an overhaul. New comments will show up in real time, comments will sync between the story page (this one) and the shared story item on our Facebook Page,
FB Embeddable Videos:
Facebook is making a move on YouTube’s turf, now allowing users to embed their Facebook videos on other sites. Will this mean less personal, home-video style content on YouTube? Maybe. Will Facebook start tapping these embedded video streams as yet another place for them to stick an ad? Almost certainly.
In a curious move, Facebook will now support 3D, spherical video in the newsfeed. You can pan around the video with your mouse cursor. While spherical video looks a bit strange on a flat screen, the key here is Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift. Strap on a VR headset and open up a 360° spherical video, and it’s almost like you’re there. VR in the newsfeed!
Imagine the conversations we’ll be having with our kids in a decade. “In my day, we watched movies together! On the same screen! And that screen was flat! FLAT!” “Okay, dad, that’s cool, can I have my Rift implant chip back please?”
Parse For Internet Of Things:
We’re rushing headfirst into this era of “Internet of Things” — a time of connected coffee makers, connected fridges, connected lightswitches. There’s been very little done, however, in the way of standardizing how these things work (and work with each other) behind the scenes.
Today FB launched Parse for Internet Of Things — a set of SDKs that act as the backend brains for IoT projects. It’s compatible with Arduino first, with other platforms on the way.
Last year, Facebook bought LiveRail — an ad exchange that fills ad space within apps and sites to the highest bidder. Today, they made two changes: they’ll support mobile display ads in addition to video, and will be able to tap into a pool of anonymized Facebook data to determine which ad to show.
Analytics For Apps:
Facebook knows a lot about the users of their apps. Now they want to help developers figure out who is using their apps. Are most of the people playing your game female? Are they teenagers? Are those teenagers spending money in game, or are most buyers in their early 20s? Facebook’s new analytics platform helps you figure that out.
Stay tuned for more news at Day 2 of F8 tomorrow.