Facebook F8 took place this month. Unfamiliar with this? It’s Facebook’s conference that is held somewhat annually. I say this because it’s been somewhat erratic. No conferences were held in 2009, 2012 or 2013. This year’s conference, held April 12 and 13 in San Francisco, was a gathering of the company’s developer community. They talked integrations, open source technologies and the latest immersive experiences. This year’s event also featured more than 40 sessions along with product announcements, interactive demos and the opportunity to get one-on-one help from the Facebook team.
More than 2,600 people gathered as Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the conference, and he started with the social media company’s 10-year plan and how new technologies will help bring people together. There were many presentations featuring various announcements that small business everywhere should pay attention to:
Live API (application program interface): Facebook Live has been successful, so the company is opening it up for developers. Facebook’s goal is to design even more ways for people and publishers to interact and share in real time.
Bots for Messenger: Remember Clippy? Facebook’s bots are kinda like that, but better. The chatbots are aimed at businesses. The bottom line is they want companies to use Messenger for automated customer service.
Facebook Surround 360: Capturing and filming in 360 requires different tools and Facebook’s got you covered. The company designed and built a 3D-360 camera system called Facebook Surround 360 that produces sharp, truly spherical footage in 3D.
Profile Expression Kit: You know all those videos you make in other apps? Facebook, along with its new partners, allow users to integrate these videos into their Facebook profile.
Free Basics Simulator & Demographic Insights: Developers can now see how their service will appear in the product and will be able to understand the types of people using their services.
Account Kit: This software will let users sign in with just an email or a phone number — no passwords necessary.
Facebook Analytics for Apps updates: Analytics help businesses further understand product reach and their audiences.
Quote Sharing: People will now be able to share quotes found on the web or in apps with their Facebook friends.
Save Button: You might have already used this and not realized it (like me!). The Save Button lets people save articles, products and videos from around the web into a saved folder on Facebook.