Changes are coming at Facebook.
As you might imagine, apps are a huge business for the company. Facebook drove an astounding 3.5 billion app installs last year. At Facebook’s keynote at its annual F8 conference today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg committed to making Facebook a more stable and bug-free platform for developers and gave us a glimpse at a few of the changes in store for the rest of us.
Big changes to Messenger
Facebook Messenger was the star of today’s keynote, with the biggest news being the addition of apps to the platform. Similar to how you might swap to an emoji keyboard on your phone, apps within Messenger will allow you to access a certain app directly within Messenger and add content from it. Facebook has already partnered with 40 apps, and is opening it up to more at today’s conference.
Apps like JibJab and Dubsmash are some of the already supported apps, and allow you to do things like create short videos to send to friends over Messenger. People who have Messenger can also install apps they like through links directly in Messenger. Additionally, the messaging app now supports GIFs and has an app for creating your own animated messages to send to friends.
Facebook also is looking to make Messenger a tool for businesses, particularly online commerce. Now brands can offer an option for shoppers to sign up for updates via Facebook Messenger. As a customer, that means that when you buy something your receipt will be sent to you via Messenger, as well as shipping information so you can track a package’s arrival. If you change your mind about a particular purchase, you can also interact with the brand directly within Facebook Messenger, just like you might have a conversation with a friend.
The future is video
Five years ago, the majority of the posts on Facebook were text. People have started to post more photos and video and are now watching more than 3 billion videos a day in Facebook’s News Feed. That number is only going to get larger.
While Facebook sees video as our present, down the line it sees people sharing things like virtual reality and augmented reality content as well. To that end, today it has launched a spherical, 360-degree video feature in Facebook. It looks sort of like Google Earth, and gives you a much more immersive experience than you might get from a traditional photo or video.
Starting today, Facebook is going to allow videos uploaded to the service to be embedded in other websites as well. You’ll be able to put a Facebook video wherever you want using an embed code, similar to how YouTube works.
Mark Zuckerberg on the future of sharing. Watch the stream now at f8.facebooklive.comPosted by Facebook Developers on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Facebook also launched a new set of SDK’s for the Internet of Things during today’s conference. That means in the future we could see Facebook integration a lot more places, including our home and vehicles.
The F8 conference continues tomorrow. You can see parts of the conference virtually, here.
Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising