Posted by Matt Ellwood
Facebook is currently hosting F8, their yearly developer conference where they announce their plans for the next year and tell developers what opportunities are coming up for them. Mark Zuckerberg opened the conference with a Keynote speech. Here's my quick summary:
The first announcement that Mark made was that the developer app review process was now being started again. This had been turned off for over a month and meant new apps or existing apps could not access the Facebook API. This is great news as it means we can continue building on top of the Facebook platform.
Ad Transparency was the first topic they talked about. Zuckerberg has said that "We will never be unprepared for this again." Since the Russia investigation, they have launched new A.I. tools that have taken down over 10k fake accounts. All people who administer political pages or even large pages will now need to be verified by government ID. Political ads will now be transparent. People being served these ads will be able to see who the page is targetting, how much the page is spending and what other ads they are pushing out. This has now launched in Canada and will be rolling out across the globe in the coming months.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was referred to, although they did not mention the company by name. Facebook has launched a third-party audit of all apps that had access to data before the 2014 clampdown of the API. These auditors will be contacting the app developers to work out where this data has ended up, with the aim to notify anyone whose data was sold or is now in hands of 3rd party people. Mark addressed the mainly developer audience saying that "we know the majority of you are building good apps but we need to make sure everyone on our platform is, which will in turn, help us release more tools to you."
Facebook is releasing a new tool called Clear Cookies. Much like clearing your cookies in a browser, this will clear all of the data that Facebook has on you. But much like how clearing cookies on a web browser ends in a pretty bad experience of having to re-log into everything and having no preferences saved, the Facebook experience will not be as good after as nothing will the tailored to you. But Facebook believes that as part of their commitment to privacy, this is a tool they have to give users.
Facebook's goal is to allow everyone in the world to share whatever they want whenever they want with anyone they want.
Watch Party - Watch live streams with friends in a private chat room. Allowing friends to watch shows together while being physically apart.
Groups - They are investing heavily in groups. As well as promoting their status in the app, they have developed a new "add to group" button which admins can embed into emails and websites to easily add people to their community. We have seen brand pages create groups for their fans so they can communicate with them easily. Examples of this are Unilad and Newshub Travel.
Dating - Facebook is launching a dating platform within their app. It will be opt-in and use your Facebook interests to match you with potential partners. They have outlined that they want this to be used for long-term relationships and not one night stands. Good luck with that... Tinder shares have fallen 17% on news that Facebook is entering this space.
Instagram's mission is to enable people to capture anything and come together around shared interests. 200 million people use Discover every day to find content about things they love.
Instagram is redesigning their explore tab to include topics of content.
Video chat is coming which allows one on one and group chats within the platform. This can be a full-screen experience or appear in the corner of the feed while browsing the platform.
AR camera is coming to Instagram, launching AR on the platform.
The founder of Whatsapp left Facebook yesterday over privacy concerns.
Video calling is the most popular feature on Whatsapp. Group video calling is launching in the near future.
Whatsapp Business was launched earlier this year. 3 million people are already using this. Now large businesses will be added to the platform.
Messenger is being completely redesigned to make messaging people easier.
The AR camera effects platform is also coming to messenger, enabling augmented reality in private group chats and one on one.
Their goal is getting a real feeling of presence, even if it’s halfway across the world.
They released a product that allows you to feed in photos of your family home and they’ll build you a VR room based on these pictures. This allows you to go into VR with the family and hang out in your family home. This product has lots of future usages as mapping out immersive spaces from photos will make VR meeting rooms more realistic.
Oculus Go is also shipping today. They claim it’s the first really affordable stand-alone headset at $199 USD and is launching with over 1000 apps. It’s the easiest way for consumers to get into VR. Mark gave each and every person in the crowd one for free in an Oprah like moment.
He ended saying that, "This is an important moment. We need to do more to keep people safe and we will, but we also need to keep building and bring the world closer together."
Here is an excerpt from their opening video:
"Why we build? Because we see the potential. We see problems. We want to see what happens next. We build because we are changing the world and that cant be taken lightly. Because the opportunity to make things better comes with the risk of making it worse. We build because this last year was hard. We saw what happens when things go wrong and learn how important it is to get it right. We build because the most difficult problems require we build together. Together is where progress happens, where support is found. Where we understand, overthrow and fall in love. Together is where our world gets better.
That's why we keep building. Because this journey is still 1% finished." - Facebook, 1 May 2018.