While chatbots might be the highlight of today’s F8 conference, Facebook is also releasing a slew of tools for developers that help them build, grow and monetize their apps. Despite Facebook shutting down its Parse development platform, it’s still adding new widgets, buttons and APIs.
Account Kit is a new plug-in for apps that lets users sign up with their phone number or email address, not just their Facebook login. That means that more downloads convert into actual signups. Saavn, an Indian music service, saw a 33 percent growth in account signups once they added phone number signup via Account Kit.
Users love to share quotes from text when they post links to Facebook. Now Facebook has a plug-in for web and mobile sites that creates a special type of News Feed story that highlights the quote. Developers can add a button that automatically pulls a quote, or surface the button when people highlight text so they don’t have to copy and paste.
Customizable push and in-app notifications will let developers run push campaigns to pull people back into their apps, and help them navigate to new content or options while they’re already inside.
Facebook is localizing its developer documentation into 16 new languages so developers spend less time translating and more time building.
And with an enhancement to Facebook’s Analytics for Apps, developers can now learn a lot more about their users in a privacy-safe, anonymized format. Instead of just age, gender, country and language, developers can now see the aggregate Likes and interests, education level, job title and more.
Then, developers can turn those insights into who is already using their app to buy Facebook ads that target similar demographics. If an app is especially popular with software engineers, or people without a college education, they can find that out with Analytics for Apps, then target more like them with ads to gain more users.
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Together, these tools will draw developers closer to Facebook’s ecosystem, convince them to enhance it and make having a Facebook account more valuable, as well as tempt them to buy Facebook’s ads.