At the annual F8 Developers conference held by Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg reintroduces the world to his master plan to take over the world through technology.
Announced last year, the plan contains Facebook’s plan over a span of 10 years. The annual conference has announced several new technologies in their “Act 2” as well as updates to certain applications, and it is clear that Facebook is far ahead of the future in terms of technology dreams than its competitors.
Here are the highlights…
Augmented Reality; cameras, not glasses
As many of you may have noticed, Facebook has been rolling out cameras on all of its major apps and now we can finally understand why.
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Facebook’s founder has announced that the company will be focusing on cameras as the first ever real gateway towards augmented reality. The camera has now become the most important component of your phone, your new platform to the world of AR (Augmented Reality.) This contradicts the path AR has been taking until now, as such with Google Glasses.
Released on Tuesday, a closed beta of the AR platform has been opened to let outside creators and visionaries create their own apps and bots. This is in the hopes that many developers will come on and create content, creating a thriving community. The platform will provide developers and artists tools to create their own AR effects for the Facebook camera app.
During the conference, we were introduced to some of the possibilities that the Facebook Camera will be able to do in the future. Sharks swimming around a bowl of cereal, words coming out of tables, along with an impressive display of a tower defense game on an empty table to play with family and kids. These effects may look great on the big screen, but the question is, will they really be that precise when it finally launches?
Facebook Spaces; another place to see friends
At his keynote speech, Zuckerberg states that “Think about how many things in our life don’t have to be physical, but can be digital.”
Facebook Spaces will be the newest place to meet friends and create social hangouts, even if you don’t want to leave home. Using Virtual reality, you can create a personalized personal you (while still cartoony, is a much better improvement to last year’s floating heads.) The application will create a virtual space for you and friends to meet up and do fun activities.
The hope for this application is that it will create a better sense of community and relationship building through the use of technology, although how people will actually feel will have to be seen as the beta version was just released.
Facebook Analytics; more possibilities
Facebook Analytics for Apps has been updated. It now has a shorter name, Facebook Analytics, and now has more added features to ensure marketers and business owners can better understand and optimize what their customers need.
According to a blog post describing the changes posted during the event, Facebook has added “analytics support for Facebook Pages and offline conversions, leveraging artificial intelligence to automatically surface insights, and making our tool more customizable.”
Messenger 2.0; easier to use
Facebook’s messenger, launched only last year, has grown to become a massive competitor against other messenger apps such as Whatsapp. It also contains dozens of chat bots, that no one was really able to find and use. To ensure easier use, the Discover tab was created in order for users to easily go through Facebook’s selection.
Chat extensions will also become available to users, this will enable users to use third party applications and extensions within the application. The messenger’s virtual assistant “M” has also been upgraded with more sophisticated intelligence. The virtual assistant will be able to do things such as understand when you are talking to someone about ordering food and suggest placing an order through appropriate applications. The entire ordering process will be through the messenger app.
M will be coming to Messenger soon for other functions, but we hope it can soon help us order through otlob.com.
Some people have begun to state that the message of F8 is clear, Facebook wants to crush Snapchat.
After the failure to acquire Snapchat, Facebook has been aggressively stepping into Snapchat’s industry of AR photo sharing. The tools for AR that were announced in the f8 all directly compete with Snapchat. Snapchat has been bruised by Facebook’s founder before.
During a PR crisis for Snapchat in the weekend, in which its owner was accused of saying that the app was only for rich people and that he did not want to expand to poor areas such as India and Spain.
The Facebook CEO and founder may have secretly thrown a punch at Snapchat’s crisis during an interview with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. He was recorded saying “I think one thing that people probably don’t think about as much as we do is innovation to serve everyone in the community not just the high end, right?”
Could this really be an all-out attack against Snapchat’s management for not letting Facebook buy them?
It is true that many comparisons between the famous photo taking app and Facebook’s newest application additions have been made, and Zuckerberg has been mostly found stating that he isn’t worried about looking like he is in Snapchat’s shadow. Could he still be holding a grudge or is he moving forward thinking that this is truly the best course of action for his company?
As always F8 brings more and more technology to the table, and continues to show that Facebook is one of the strongest companies out there when it comes to advancing virtual communities. Currently, marketers can definitely benefit from items such as the virtual assistant M and the new update to Facebook’s Analytics.