Facebook F8 2018 was eagerly waited all over the world after data breaching event by Cambridge Analytica and later Marc Zuckerberg’s face-to-face with US Senate members. Not surprisingly, the Keynote speech of Marc Zuckerberg was more focused on safety and security of the users’ data and later, every speaker mainly emphasized on the data security as well. The first day of the F8 Facebook Developer Conference at San Jose, CA witnessed many announcements and new features are rolling out soon on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Few good features are coming for the marketers especially the use of Oculus VR headset can be one gadget to look for. Like 2017, this year again the major focus was on the integration of AI, AR, and VR. The takeaways from the first day of the conference are here:
Major announcements in Facebook F8
Protecting Election Integrity:
The Keynote of Zuckerberg started with the safety of the data breaching for upcoming Elections in many countries later this year and next year. He admitted the flaws in the past and misuse of the data by Russia during US election earlier, Zuckerberg has made sure to protect the Election integrity by the use of AI in finding out fake profiles of the users.
Ad Transparency Tool:
As declared earlier just after the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook is going to bring more transparency to the Political Ads. People who are running the ads for the political agenda will be known to the target audience and they will be able to see the profile of the user who is the admin and running the ads on Facebook.
Fighting Fake News/Hoaxes:
Lately last year, hoaxes created some noise and people took it as the real news. Fake news and hoaxes are creating the nuisance for the users and it is becoming difficult for the users to trust the news coming on their home wall. Facebook is again using AI to remove fake news and find the hoaxes.
So many things have been written and said about data privacy in the last couple of months and this topic was expected in Zuckerberg’s keynote speech by almost everyone on the planet! Facebook is launching GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) privacy control soon.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) proposed by the European Commission to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU), whilst addressing the export of personal data outside the EU.
People who understand the meaning of cookies regularly clear the cookies and delete the web history. Facebook is launching Clear History option in which user can clear Off-Facebook history that will remove any information Facebook has received about actions the user has taken on websites or in apps from user’s Facebook account.
There is yet no clear picture about the data captured by Facebook pixel if it will be removed also or not! (Remarketing depends heavily on this announcement!)
Declared earlier, Facebook is working hard to keep the main objective of Facebook intact – “Relation first”. Watch party will help people come together on Facebook to watch the same frame of video and give their comment for the video. They can invite other friends too to the party to watch the video.
Facebook has pushed the Groups a lot in last year or so now and they want to push it further. After launching Ads in groups in some part of the World couple of months ago, Facebook is moving ahead on the roadmap they have published in last year’s F8 conference.
Facebook is launching Groups tab later this month which will allow people to join more groups based on interest and likings. Facebook is also bringing “Join Group” button in developer’s site which can be integrated with websites too to inspire people to join your group by a click of the button!
Facebook believes that many people are meeting through Facebook and they start their marriage journey then after. Every third married couple in the USA met online for the first time. Facebook is launching the “Dating” feature in existing Facebook app. Keeping privacy and safety of your current Facebook profile in focus, it will give an opportunity to the user to explore the events happening near him/her and unlock that event. A user can check who others are interested in that event and then by clicking on the photo of the user, both can personally chat with each other. The chat is not integrated with Facebook messenger and this chat app has simple chat feature only.
Market Place is right now available in 70 countries and been used by 800 mn people. Indonesia and Thailand are among the major users of this feature. Buying and Selling are becoming easy with Market Place and Facebook is focusing on the expansion of this feature in the other parts of the globe this year.
New Explore feature on Instagram:
Instagram users are using the explore features to find and curate awesome content. There will be now New Explore feature which will allow the users to find the content topic wise. With the use of AI, more relevant and related content will be found in the topic based content explore.
Instagram is introducing the Video Chat features which will allow the user to video chat with more than one person on Instagram. The best part of this video chat is that user can surf the news feed on Instagram even while video chat is on. The other video chat users will not be able to see the on-screen content of your Instagram.
AR Camera effects:
Last year, AR camera was introduced on Facebook and this year it will be introduced on Instagram as well. Developers can create their own AR camera effects and upload it on Instagram which their followers can use in Instagram stories. If someone is not following then also the user can use your effects and like that it will help in building a new connection on Instagram.
Group Video Calling on WhatsApp:
Like Instagram, WhatsApp will now have group video calling feature. More people can use the group video calling with better video streaming and voice quality.
Last year, WhatsApp had 450 mn updates every day globally which is surprisingly higher in numbers than Facebook stories. WhatsApp will keep the focus on the status update to bring more people to use this feature.
WhatsApp Business was built to help the small organizations to reach out to more people with their contact details. This year, WhatsApp will bring WhatsApp Business tool for large-scale businesses.
Simplifying Facebook Messenger:
In last year’s F8, it was declared that more people are using Facebook Messenger as their preferred messenger and the userbase has grown to date. To make the overall user experience good, Zuckerberg has announced simplifying Facebook Messenger. The new version will load fast and work faster compared to the current version.
AR Camera Effects:
Like Instagram, AR Camera effects will be available on Facebook messenger as well. The effects will also available on Facebook Messenger for Kids. The idea is to engage more users on Messenger and increase the user base with better video chat experience.
Business and Bots:
The bots have taken up by many organizations late last year but the developers are using bots largely now. Almost 100,000 bots have been created and the numbers are going to increase this year. It was learned that the normal Email open rate is 10% while the open rate of the message sent by the bot is 90%. This year, the bots will be again a major focus to help the businesses grow and increase sales.
Inspired by Reddit, Facebook is bringing up-down voting for the comments on the posts. People can vote for their liking or disliking on the comments written by other users on anyone’s post on your wall.
Third-party story integration on Instagram:
Millions of people take the screenshot of the music they listen to and put in the Instagram story. Now many such music apps have tied-up with Instagram and Facebook from where the user can post the story on Instagram or Facebook directly. The story will have a link to the music file which people can click and visit the app.
Live Commenting on Facebook Groups:
Facebook groups will have Live commenting feature. The unique feature of this update is the admin’s profile will be highlighted largely and admin can moderate the comments of the users.
3D Photos and 3D in Facebook Camera:
A couple of months ago Facebook introduced 3D post but still, people are struggling because of lack of knowledge for 3D modeling. They are now bringing 3D Photos on Facebook. You can simply click the photo from your mobile phone and upload the photo as a 3D photo on Facebook. Facebook is also bringing 3D in Facebook camera. You can upload the 3D model of a product on Facebook which the user can use further with AR tool.
One of the most interesting updates announced in F8 first day was AI memories. Imagine you have uploaded a 2d simple video of your home party 5-6 years ago and you want to feel the same feelings once again! Facebook is coming up with AI reconstruction which creates the point cloud reconstruction. A user can live the same moments again using his VR headset.
Facebook Business Solutions SDK:
Facebook is introducing the Facebook Business Solutions SDK. This SDK offers an easier experience with integrations across Facebook products by enabling access to a suite of Facebook APIs, including Business Manager API, Marketing API, Instagram API, and Pages API. Within the SDK you will find many more code samples for scenarios that will help you get up and running easily and quickly so that you can focus on growing and scaling your business.
Other than these announcements, Facebook has started selling VR headset – Oculus Go – online. The price of 32GB is $199 and 64 GB is $249. There are 1000+ apps and games now available to enjoy on this VR headset. Undoubtedly, these updates will change the way digital marketing is done by the companies in India and across the globe. The use of Facebook for marketing needs to give a fresh look by the marketers too. The last word of Zuckerberg’s keynote speech – “we will keep building”- suggest that many more updates will keep coming from Facebook in near future.