Earlier this week, Facebook held its F8 conference in California. The (almost) annual conference is an opportunity for the social media giant to announce new platform integrations, marketing opportunities and overall successes.
Here are some of the announcements that came out of F8 this year:
Among the highlights of the day was an announcement that it’s popular messaging app, Messenger is now also a platform for business and will be called Messenger Platform. Brands will be able to use the new Bots feature to send everything from purchase receipts to weather updates to users. There is also a new send/receive API that brands and programmers will be able to tap into.
This will give businesses the ability to send texts and images along with valuable call-to-action buttons. One of the first companies that will access this beta feature is Canada’s e-commerce darling, Shopify:
Facebook launched 360 videos in 2015 as a follow up to their earlier purchase of Oculus (the VR/AR headset manufacturer). In continuing to support this initiative, Facebook announced a bunch of 360 initiatives. The first was an announcement of the launch of a new hardware and software camera system to be called Surround 360. To support the developers creating new videos as well as viewers watching them, Facebook also announced new 360 publisher tools to help drive engagement and deliver valuable analytics.
Facebook also took another shot at Twitter/Periscope by announcing the Live API. Facebook Live is Facebook’s response to Twitter’s Periscope. The Live API further enables publishers to integrate video directly into their own video product.
Years ago, Facebook had a product called Notes that users would treat like a Facebook blogging platform. Instant Articles takes the Notes idea to another level. Many users have seen Instant Articles from preferred publishing partners. Now, publishers of any size will be able to create Instant Articles. The opportunity to create branded content with Instant Articles has also been enabled allowing publishers to finally start monetizing content on Facebook.