Everything Facebook launched at F8 Conference

Augmented Reality Camera Effects Platform

Mark Zuckerberg says copying Snapchat was just Facebook laying the groundwork for its new augmented reality developer platform. Devs can build AR selfie masks, overlay info on real world objects like putting reviews on a restaurant’s storefront, create interactive games, and add virtual objects to your reality like a chess board or TV. Experiences can be triggered by objects detected in your camera, your exact location, movement, or data pulled from other apps.

Why: Facebook can’t build every single AR experience you could want by itself. Thanks to 10 years of building its platform, it’s enlisting an army of outside developers to help it one-up Snapchat’s few dozen AR filters with an endless array of AR content. The real world would be too big to fill with AR without the assistance of a distributed crowd of creators.


Frame Studio For Making Your Own Filters

Now you can make your own still 2D filters for Facebook’s camera.Frame Studio lets you upload a design for an overlaid graphic with no coding required, and friends or your Page’s fans can then use them in their photos or videos.

Why: Facebook wants people to do more personal sharing of exclusive content, since that sharing declined in 2015 and 2016. By letting people make image filters for their home town, best friend, or their unique art style, they’ll have new reasons to share.


Facebook Workplace Bots And File Services

Facebook’s collaboration tool for enterprise businesses calledWorkplace today added chat bots, integrations with file sharing services like Box and Salesforce, and integrations with IT compliance tools like Netskope, Smarsh and Skyhigh.

Why: Facebook must shed its reputation as a purely consumer app and look professional if its going to convince CIOs to pay for Workplace. Bots bring Workplace closer to feature parity with Slack. Meanwhile, the file sharing and compliance integrations instantly make Workplace more convenient and secure without Facebook having to do all the work of building these complex systems by itself.


Messenger Group Bots

Messenger bots can now be added to group chat conversations. There they can provide a news ticker about an ongoing sports game, let your friends collaboratively build a Spotify playlist, or find a consensus about group travel options and book flights together on Kayak.

Why: When Messenger bots launched last year, they were often disappointing because AI technology wasn’t adequate for bots convincingly pretend to be human conversation partners. It was also tough for people to find good bots to use. Group bots takes the pressure off bots to act human and makes them more like digital assistants, and they give developers a viral way to grow as friends expose bots to each other in group chats.


Messenger Bot Discovery

Facebook Messenger will now have a discovery tab where you can find your recently used bots, browse bot categories, see trending experiences, or search for bots. Users can see a preview of a bot’s functionality before they jump into a conversation with it. Meanwhile, Smart Replies let an AI learn answers to commonly asked questions for a business and automatically reply through their Messenger bot when someone else asks the same question.

Why: To attract developers to its Messenger bot platform, Facebook has to offer growth potential. But the platform launched last year with no discovery mechanisms beyond simple search. Facebook can now recommend the best bots, help people find ones for the right occasion, and potentially sell sponsored placement in the discovery tab for businesses willing to pay. Meanwhile, Smart Replies alleviates businesses from staffing someone 24/7 to respond on Messenger so they’re more comfortable getting on board.

Messenger Parametric QR Codes

Facebook has revamped its Messenger QR codes so now instead of just leading to a Page, person, or bot, they can open specific experiences within bots. Plus they can be easily scanned with Messenger’s camera. For example, the Golden State Warriors basketball team can print out different codes and put them around their arena. One code could trigger a food delivery to your seat and another could show you a merchandise catalog.

Why: Facebook wants to boost its presence in the physical world, create a new way to discover chat bots, and get people deep into specific bot experiences like ecommerce. If Facebook can get more businesses using these codes, it could convert them to doing more of their marketing and customer support on Messenger.


Messenger Games Tab

Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games now have their own tab where you can find new ones to play. Plus now you can challenge friend to turn-by-turn games rather than just going for high scores.

Why: Games felt cramped living only inside the message composer on threads, and some of the most popular social games like Words With Friends are turn-by-turn. Today’s updates lure developers to the platform with more growth potential and flexibility.


React VR and React Fiber

Facebook’s popular open-source user interface JavaScript framework React got two big updates today. The official launch ofReact VR will make it quick for developers to create virtual reality content. React Fiber is a complete re-write of the React framework designed to power the imagery-heavy experiences of the future.

Why: Facebook wants to keep the developer community close. If they rely on its open source frameworks, maybe they’ll build for its various platforms like Oculus, Messenger bots, and Facebook’s new Camera Effects platform.


Litho Android Framework

Facebook is open sourcing the tool it internally uses to build its Android app. Litho allows for the efficient creation of Android user interfaces that run at 60 frames per second.

Why: Facebook wants to make Litho as powerful as possible. By open sourcing it, Facebook can take contributions from the developer community and bake them back into the framework so its own Android app gets better.


Delegated Account Recovery

If you lose your password to another website that uses Delegated Account Recovery, you’ll be able to go to Facebook to verify your identity and regain access to the other site. Now any app or site can integrate Facebook’s Delegated Account Recovery SDK to add the functionality.

Why: Facebook wants to become entrenched as a fundamental utility of the web. If you use it to recover your lost passwords, you’ll never be able to quit it entirely. Gaining a presence on other popular apps and sites could also help Facebook with user growth and engagement.


AI-Powered Analytics Suggestions

Facebook Insights will now do some of the work for Page and business owners. Artificial intelligence can now scan your analytics and highlight important changes or your best performing content. And new Omni-Channel Insights let you track everything going on with all your properties in one dashboard.

Why: If Facebook can show Page owners what resonates with their followers, it can help them create better content that enriches the News Feed. When businesses feel like they understand and are in control of their Facebook presence, they’re more confident about spending money to promote it.


Facebook Spaces aka Facebook In VR

Facebook Spaces lets you and up to three friends hang out in a virtual room where you can chat, draw, watch 360 videos, make Messenger video calls, and take VR selfies — all while appearing as a cartoony avatar based on your recently tagged photos. For now it’s only available on the Oculus Rift VR headset and Oculus Touch controllers, but eventually it will expand to other tethered VR devices.

Why: This is the social VR vision that prompted Facebook to acquire Oculus three years ago. Facebook doesn’t want someone else to be “the Facebook of VR”. It wants to own that market itself, and soak up the long engagement time people might spend hanging out with friends and family scattered around the world.


Bonus: Zuckerberg responds to ‚Snapchat copycat‘ criticism

“I guess I’m not that worried about that”, Mark Zuckerberg told TechCrunch in response to claims that Facebook just clones Snapchat and doesn’t innovate any more. Read our interview with the CEO where he explains why copying Snapchat was just step one of Facebook’s new augmented reality platform.


Source: Techcrunch 


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