With all the major announcements that were made, the 2016 F8 Facebook Developer Conference was revealing for developers, marketers, and Facebook users alike. The highlights from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 10-year plan included VR, bots, and the Messenger Platform. As declared, his higher purpose is to keep the more than 1 billion people that use Facebook every day engaged, but also to attract more users. Here’s a look back at all the things you may have missed from last week’s event.
Here’s a look back at all the things you may have missed from the event.
Bots on Facebook Messenger
The star of F8 was Facebook Messenger. The company revealed Messenger Platform, which allows businesses to create bots for the app. These bots are meant to make life easier for both businesses and users. Through bots, users can interact with businesses more intuitively, whether it’s to order pizza, buy shoes, schedule a car service, send flowers, get the news you missed, etc. Moreover, these bots can provide automated subscription to content like news, weather, traffic and more.
Currently, Messenger Platform is in beta, with bots and a Send/Receive API. Not only will this support sending and receiving text, but also images and interactive bubbles that can contain multiple calls-to-action. These bots allow businesses to send automatic responses to their clients’ requests, based on their intentions. Developers can also set up a welcome screen for their threads to set context and other controls. Facebook gave developers access to documents to build bots for Messenger. Afterward, the bots must be submitted to Facebook for approval.
Facebook also announced the availability of Wit.ai’s Bot Engine, which will enable developers to build complex bots that can interpret intent from natural language and learn over time.
New tools for developers to build better apps
On the Facebook for Developers page, developers can find a list of new tools to help them build better apps. There is a new App Dashboard where developers can come to configure Facebook developer products, submit apps for review, and monitor the health of their API calls and errors. The new App Dashboard comes with a new App Analytics infrastructure to help developers track an apps’ progress and explore API calls. The news updates aim to help developers gain a better understanding of their users’ demographics, such as their age range and what time they tend to make in-app purchases. They can also target notifications to these users for higher engagement rates.
For developers working with React Native, Facebook announced that its framework will be available on Windows and Samsung devices, allowing developers to create apps for smart TV, wearables, and gaming consoles.
Facebook also released API Upgrade Tools to make upgrading apps to the latest API easier. Developers can provide the tool with the app name and API version, and the tool will list endpoints of an app and how they will behave in the target vision.
The future of tech development was disclosed at Facebook F8
Facebook revealed that they’ve been working with revolutionary technology and VR devices that Mark Zuckerberg believes will change the way we communicate on the web.
Facebook Account Kit
With the new Account Kit SDK, app developers or site owners can let their users log in without needing a password or a Facebook account, but just by using their phone number or e-mail address. The goal is to help developers with the onboarding process.
Facebook Surround 360
Facebook unveiled a $30,000 3D camera design that can shoot 8K videos in 360-degrees, called Facebook Surround 360. It produces spherical footage in 3D by using seamless stitching technology from the video footage of 17 cameras. Facebook is open-sourcing the concept based on existing hardware. The design specs and stitching code will be available on GitHub this summer.
Free Basics Simulator
Facebook created the Free Basics Simulator to test their websites and as a resource for those who want to keep hardware or network constraints in mind when building a new website. This means developers will need to be able to adapt their services for testing in order to provide basic Internet service for people across the globe and optimize browsing for older devices and limited bandwidth.
Read more about the 2016 Facebook F8 Conference here.