Facebook just concluded their developer conference called F8 (is it slightly creepy that that spells fate?). During this event Mark Zuckerberg, laid out Facebook’s 10 year
plan for world domination roadmap for the company that showed their products like WhatsApp and Instagram all the way to their VR aspirations and their plans to use drones and other means to make sure everyone can access the internet (and their products, of course).
Since it is a developer event, Facebook kicked things off with some new developer tools.
Facebook announced a few tools for developers to help with logging into their apps. Sort of makes sense considering Facebook is the most popular login service in the world.
First up, there is Account Kit which developers can use to allow their users to login to their apps using their phone number or email. This came after developers told Facebook users wanted to be able to login without needing a Facebook account.
They also announced a new login for users with Facebook accounts, called Anonymous Login. As the name suggests, you’ll have a new Login Anonymously option in addition to the Login with Facebook option we are used to seeing that will allow you to login to an app using Facebook but without sharing any of your personal info and not letting the app post to your Facebook.
In addition to this new option – that I’m not sure why you would ever not select frankly, but maybe I’m missing something – Facebook also announced line by line controls for the normal Facebook Login. You can actually choose which permissions you want to give the app instead of having to allow all of them in one shot.
Next up in the developer tools that’ll probably affect you as an end-user is the new sharing-type tools that Facebook announced.
There is a new quote-sharing tool that developers can put on their sites eventually that’ll let users highlight text on the page and it’ll give users the option to directly quote it and share it to Facebook.
There’s also a new Save to Facebook button that developers will also be allowed to embed on their sites to have you save articles, yes, like Pocket or Instapaper, but to your Facebook app for reading later. Once of the nice things that might help this get adopted faster than Pocket or Instapaper is the face it doesn’t strip down the site, so publishers (ehem!) can still have their ads on the page and continue to make revenue. At least, until Facebook strips that out and forces them to use their own ad network, called Audience Network.
The clear star of this event, though, was definitely Messenger.
Just like Microsoft unveiled at their recent event, Facebook is pushing bots. Now in Messenger, you can talk to specific bots and they’ll deliver information to you via conversational text instead of, say using an app. For example, messaging the CNN bot will have it ask you what topics you are interested in and it will then use that info to tell you about the news from those topics, the 1-800-Flowers bot can help you order flowers to someone, etc.
Again, as I’ve said before, these bot things are going to get interesting and they’re a brand new type of App Store that people like Microsoft and Facebook have opened up to developers to create their own (which, I’m sure will eventually be able to be charged for, which Facebook and Microsoft will then take a percentage of à la every app store).
This new bot platform is now ready for development and is dubbed “Messenger Platform”.
Live Streaming API
Another form of communication that Facebook is betting on is live video. With the release of their live video recently, it makes sense that Facebook announced their new Live Streaming API that’ll allow developers to throw live video up on Facebook. So, you know, expect more soon.
Being that Facebook owns the popular Oculus VR company, it was expected that there’d be some Virtual Reality news coming out of this event and Facebook didn’t disappoint in that respect: they launched a camera.
The new Surround 360 camera is capable of shooting 8K video using 17 lens and costs about $30,000. While that may sound like a lot of money, let me assure you that for that resolution and a 360 degree shooting rig with minimal setup needed, it’s not.
And there you go, a quick recap of the things that Facebook announced at F8 this year. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below and I’ll reply ASAP.