Rumors and leaks about what Facebook would unveil at their F8 developer conference have been sprinting around the internet for weeks. The event finally took off today and they had more than enough news to fill up our news feed.
We know many of you are wondering what the hell is going on with Facebook. Some of you may not even know how to mentally organize all those announcements, so we have put them all in one single post for you. Shall we dig in?
Facebook Messenger becomes a platform
Facebook hasn’t been quiet about their big plans for Messenger. We hated them for separating Messenger from the main Facebook app, but they sure did have a reason for it. It all becomes clear today as they announce their messaging service will be more than just that. Facebook Messenger can now independently create and share content of its own.
This will be done through apps, which developers can now create in order to enrich people’s communications. Over 40 apps are now being offered, including ones from ESPN, the Weather Channel, Ditty and more. Developers can start getting involved today, so start getting ready for the changes.
Facebook Messenger gets ready for business
Another very interesting improvement is the new business-focused features that have been brought upon Facebook Messenger. They call it “Businesses on Messenger”, and it will be a new way to communicate with businesses regarding transactions and customer service matters.
It will pretty much be live chat with customer service. Now the ability to make payments over Facebook Messenger makes much more sense, right? You just may be able to do your shopping straight from there.
Taking Facebook out of Facebook
So we know Facebook is all over the web, right? This social network is used for logging into many other sites, as well as registering. Many sites even use Facebook for comments. Today Facebook announced a couple things that will get websites much more involved with the social network.
For starters, users can now start conversations in websites that use the comment plug-in and carry them on within Facebook. This will keep people much more involved.
The second addition is related to Facebook videos, which can now be easily embedded by using a single line of code (given that you are using the provided plug-in. Facebook is making a huge push into its video services, so it makes sense to be able to take it out of the social network. Will they eventually become a major competitor for YouTube? We’ll see.
Entering the Internet of Things
And just like Facebook is not staying within its own site, it’s also not aiming to live only online. Today’s F8 announcements also included a new development kit for Parse, a company Facebook acquired in 2013. It will be used as a backend platform for app developers who want to work with smart devices and the IoT. Things like smart light bulbs and locks would be an example.
Spherical and VR videos
Facebook is very well invested in the VR market. They did, after all, acquire Oculus, and now we may know what they meant when they said they wanted to lead the way into virtual reality. They don’t just want to be part of the hardware game, Facebook wants to host spherical videos that will be supported by Oculus headsets.
Analytics for Apps
The popular social network also introduced a new service that may be of interest to app developers. Facebook calls it Analytics for Apps, and it does just what it sounds like. It provides important insight on application consumers, including age, sex, campaign performance, engagement, usage behavior, operating system and more.
It will be free, but right now it’s only available under a closed beta.