Yesterday, Facebooks global developer community gathered in San Jose for F8, an annual two-day event where Facebook developers come together to explore the future of technology.
Mark Zuckerberg started off the day and the event with his annuanl keynote on how Facebook are taking a broader view of their responsibility by not only giving people powerful tools, but also making sure those tools are used for good. He discussed their responsibility to keep building new services that bring people together in meaningful new ways across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus.
Other keynote speakers yesterday included :-
- Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Instagram
- Product Managers Jyoti Sood and Shilpa Sarkar
- Instagram Data Science Manager Tamar Shapiro
- WhatsApp Director Mubarik Imam
- VP of Messaging Products David Marcus
- VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong
- VP of VR Hugo Barra
- Head of Social VR Rachel Franklin
Here are some of the announcements made during the 2018 F8 Keynote.
Facebook announced plans to build Clear History. This feature will enable you to see the websites and apps that sends information to Facebook when you use them, delete this information from your account, and it will turn off Facebooks ability to store the information associated with your account from then onwards.
The past several weeks have made clear that people want more information about how Facebook works and the controls they have over their information. At F8 Facebook shared some of the first steps that they are taking to better protect people’s privacy.
Facebook are starting with a feature that addresses feedback they’ve heard consistently from people who use Facebook, privacy advocates and regulators: everyone should have more information and control over the data Facebook receives from other websites and apps that use Facebooks services.
They announced plans to build Clear History. Apps and websites that use features such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics sends data to Facebook so they can make their content and ads better. They also use this information to make your experience on Facebook better.
If you clear your history or use the new setting, Facebook will remove identifying information, so a history of the websites and apps you’ve used won’t be associated with your account. Facebook will still provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, they can build reports when they’re sent this information so they can tell developers if their apps are more popular with men or women in a certain age group. They can do this without storing the information in a way that’s associated with your account, and as always, they don’t tell advertisers who you are.
It will take a few months for Facebook to build Clear History. Facebook will work with privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators to get their input on their approach, including how they plan to remove identifying information and the rare cases where they need information for security purposes. They’ve already started a series of roundtable discussions in cities around the world, and Facebook has heard specific demands for controls like these at a session they held at their headquarters two weeks ago. Facebook are looking forward to doing more.
Sharing to Stories
Facebook are introducing a new way for people to share from their favorite apps to both Facebook and Instagram Stories.
People already share their interests on Facebooks platforms, and now they’re making that experience faster, easier and more creative on Stories.
From a sticker of your new favorite song on Spotify to action shots from GoPro, it’s now easy to share what you’re up to or how you’re feeling by posting directly to Facebook and Instagram Stories from other apps. More apps will be adding the sharing to Stories feature soon.
Just tap the share button in the Spotify or GoPro app and your content is pulled directly into the Instagram camera. From there you can edit and add to your story or send it via Direct. You don’t have to connect your Facebook or Instagram account to other apps in order to share to Stories.
Facebook announced that they are introducing the Groups tab, which helps you navigate to your existing groups more easily and interact with content from all your groups. Later this year, you’ll be able to discover and join new groups through the tab.
This feature is already available to some people, including myself.
They’re building a feature for dating and relationships within the Facebook app. People already use Facebook to meet new people, and they want to make that experience better. People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile — and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events. However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends. Facebook will share more information when this begins testing later this year.
Last year Facebook announced Crisis Response, a center on Facebook where people can get information about recent crises and access Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers. Facebook are always looking for ways to make it easier for people to support each other during a crisis, and people have told them that information from others is most helpful. Today Facebook are introducing a feature that will enable people affected by a crisis to share firsthand accounts of timely information, like road closures and damage photos and videos, making it easier to get real-time updates. This feature will be rolling out later this year.
Blood Donations on Facebook
Also announced recently a new feature launched for people in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to register as blood donors on Facebook. Facebook knows that donors want to step up to help their community, but often don’t know when or where to donate. Facebook hace now announced Blood Donations on Facebook to make it easier for people who want to donate to find opportunities nearby. In a few weeks, people in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan will be able to view nearby blood donation camps, requests for blood donations and blood banks from one place on Facebook.
Investing in our Developer Community
Facebook recently took a number of steps to better protect people’s information on the polatform. They are now making several important improvements to their policies and programs for the developer community with a focus on building trust with the people who use their products. They are now re-opening their app review process after making some changes to make it more comprehensive and grounded on ensuring that each of their APIs creates value for people, is transparent and builds trust. Click here to learn more about the new principles and the ways Facebook are investing in their developer community.
AR Camera Effects for Instagram
Last year at F8 Facebook announced the AR camera platform, and they’re now bringing it to Instagram. Using AR Studio, creators will be able to design unique, interactive camera experiences, including face filters and world effects, for their followers on Instagram.
Face filters, text styles and stickers help turn casual moments into experiences you can’t wait to share. Now they’re unlocking the ability for third parties to design unique, interactive camera experiences for their followers.
That means you turn any video into a cloud of hearts and Pomeranians to fluff up your photo.
If you see a new effect in Stories from an account you follow and want to try it yourself, just tap “Try it on” and the tool will be added to your tray.
They also announced video chat, a new way people can use real-time video to connect, even when they can’t be together. Video chat will be available in Instagram Direct and will empower both one-on-one and group conversations.
More than 100 million Instagrammers watch or share on Live every day. But the Facebook community have said that sometimes they also want to experience real-time video in a smaller group.
In the coming weeks, FAcebook will bring video chat to Instagram and give friends a new way to spend time together — even when they aren’t actually together.
To start a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. You can chat one-on-one or with a small group — and you can keep the conversation going for as long as you like. You can also minimize the video and continue the chat while doing other things on Instagram.
Video chat is testing now and will roll out globally soon.
Facebook are redesigning Explore to make it easier to discover things you’re interested in. The new Explore will organize suggested content into relevant topic channels, making it easier than ever to browse across your interests, while going deeper into any specific area.
People come to Explore every day to discover new ideas, people, and experiences. And now we’re excited to bring you a redesigned Explore that makes discovery even easier.
Explore is still personalized for you, but the content is now organized into topic channels so you can browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you’d like.
The new Explore will be rolling out over the coming weeks.
WhatsApp Group Calling and Stickers
Voice and video calling are very popular on WhatsApp, and Facebook announced that group calling will be coming in the months ahead. Stickers are also coming to WhatsApp soon.
AR for the Messenger Platform
Facebook are launching the ability for brands to integrate AR camera effects into their Messenger experience. This feature, launching in closed beta, helps people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, and more. Developers will be able to build experiences that let people virtually customize or try on merchandise, walk through new products, or simply express themselves in a fun way.
With this launch, businesses large and small can leverage the Camera Effects Platform to easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together. So, when a person interacts with your business in Messenger, you can prompt them to open the camera, which will be pre-populated with filters and AR effects that are specific to your brand. From there, people can share the image or video to their story or in a group or one-to conversation or they can simply save it to their camera roll.
Blending AR effects and messaging solves a real problem for people shopping online. There are so many situations where we need to visualize a product before we feel comfortable buying it. We often seek input from our friends and family before making a purchase. This feature — launching in closed beta — leverages the nature of messaging to help people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, customizations, and more, without ever needing to set foot in a store. This feature is the latest addition for the Facebook AR Studio, which powers expressive and immersive experiences across our family of apps.
At launch, the following brands will be launching AR effects for their Messenger experiences: ASUS, Kia, Nike, and Sephora. ASUS will be bringing the “unboxing experience” to life with the ability to get a deeper look at phone features and functionalities, and Kia will give people looking to buy a car the opportunity to customize and get up close and personal with the Kia Stinger. Nike is using Messenger to drop a new pair of sneakers, giving people an exclusive sneak peek at them through a curated and visual red carpet experience. And Sephora is making trying on new makeup easier than ever with a selection of looks to try on and share.
Visual messaging has already proven itself to be a powerful way for people to connect with each other; in 2017 alone people shared over 500 billion emoji(nearly 1.7 billion every day) and 18 billion GIFs in Messenger. We’re excited to see how this enhances connections between people and the brands they love, while delivering business outcomes at scale.
Facebook announced that buyers and sellers in Marketplace, a place on Facebook to buy and sell things locally, will be able to communicate across languages with M suggestions for translations. Now when people who connect through Marketplace receive a message in a language that is different from their default language in Messenger, M will ask if they want to translate the message. At launch, translations from English to Spanish (and vice-versa) will be available in Marketplace conversations taking place in the US. Facebook are planning to expand this feature and gradually roll out M suggestions for translations to people using Messenger in the US in the coming weeks.
Bringing VR into the mainstream
Facebook announced new ways people for people to express themselves and connect with friends and family in AR/VR:
- Oculus Go Available Now: Oculus’ first standalone VR headset the Oculus Go is now available at oculus.com in 23 countries, starting at £199 USD. With more than 1,000 apps, games and experiences available at launch, there’s never been an easier way to jump into VR than with this all-in-one headset.
- New Apps for Shared VR Experiences: Facebook are introducing new ways to experience VR with friends and connect with your favorite entertainment. Oculus Venues is your ticket to live social events in VR including concerts, sports and comedy nights with friends and thousands of other people. Oculus Rooms, originally released for Gear VR, has been redesigned with the launch of Oculus Go and lets friends play board games, watch movies and more. Oculus TV gives you a virtual big screen TV, where you can watch live or on-demand content – and will allow up to four people to watch together starting this summer. Oculus Venues and Oculus TV launch later this month.
- More Immersive Ways to Share: Recently, Facebook introduced 3D posts and they announced that people will soon be able to take 3D objects from News Feed into Facebook Camera AR experiences with one tap. Facebook also announced 3D Photos which will be coming this summer — this is a new media type that lets people capture 3D moments in time using a smartphone and share on Facebook.
New Ways to Enjoy Entertainment and Connect with Friends
From live events and binge-worthy TV series to social experiences, your own curated content, and more, Oculus Go offers immersive entertainment at your fingertips.
Originally released for Gear VR, Oculus Rooms is a place to hang out with friends in VR while you enjoy social activities like playing tabletop games, watching TV and movies, sharing photos, and listening to music. You can also jump into other VR apps together with friends when you want to start a new adventure.
With Oculus Go, we’re releasing a major update for Oculus Rooms. You’ll find a fully redesigned and customizable environment, more life-like avatars, the tabletop game Boggle from Hasbro coming this month (with Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit brand experiences coming soon), and the ability to watch full-length movies from among the hundreds of top titles in the Oculus Store.
Oculus Venues is your ticket to live social events in VR like concerts, sports, and comedy nights. It’s a great way to get closer to the things you love and connect with other fans while enjoying new perspectives or checking out the action from any angle—and it’s launching on May 30 for both Oculus Go and Gear VR!
Oculus Venues features a diverse lineup of high-quality events you won’t want to miss including Major League Baseball games, stadium shows from top-selling artists, movie screenings, and a range of experiences in partnership with NextVR like ICC soccer, intimate gigs with emerging musicians from School Night at the Bardot, and standup events like Gotham Comedy Club. Clear your calendar and stay tuned for the full schedule of events.
At F8, Facebook unveiled Oculus TV—a brand-new way to experience your favorite serialized content. A custom-built 3D environment with a massive screen and virtual seating area, Oculus TV also serves as a convenient hub to launch your favorite individual VR entertainment apps, like Hulu and SHOWTIME. Oculus TV is launching later in May with partners like Pluto TV, Red Bull TV, and the Facebook video app for TV—and even more partners like ESPN coming later this year.
Get totally immersed in your panoramic and 360° photos and watch your videos in a virtual home theater! With Oculus Gallery, you can easily stream your personal media from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, your phone, and more—all from your Oculus Go headset.