The 4 things marketers need to know about Facebook’s F8 Conference

It may be hard to believe, but it’s already been ten years since Facebook’s first F8 Developers Conference! And again in its 10th edition, the opening keynote saw founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage in San Jose, California.

The SoAmpli team attended an exclusive London live-streaming of the opening keynote on a beautiful and sunny rooftop in Camden. As we listened to four different Facebook execs talk about the future of the platform, it was very interesting to hear the comments of fellow attendees about what got them most excited about the presentation.

Over the last few years, Facebook has become a key platform for brands everywhere thanks to its ability to constantly innovate and stay ahead of the curve, understanding consumers’ needs and habits and creating opportunities for marketers which did not exist before. So, if you’re in marketing, it is always good to be aware of what Zuckerberg & co. have in store for the future. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the keynote just yet, here are the key takeaways that you should be aware of:

“We are making the camera the first AR platform”.

With the success of Snapchat’s innovations in the field, it does not come as a surprise that Augmented Reality is taking centre stage at this year’s F8. What was truly remarkable about Zuckerberg’s presentation, however, was that he addressed the need for an ‘an open platform so that any developer in the world can build for augmented reality without first having to build their own camera and then get a lot of people to use it’.

Facebook’s ambitious mission is to make our phone’s camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform; their new Camera Effects will let us use AR overlays created by developers from all over the world on our images and video. A few brands like Nike have already started tapping into the possibilities of this approach, via custom-made branded overlays exclusive to Facebook.

“We’ve only just scratched the surface of social VR technology”.

Another key announcement that got a lot of us talking was about Virtual Reality. Facebook Spaces (the name of the new app) will allow you to build a VR-version of yourself, including interests and personality traits, mainly based on your Facebook data. Up to four Facebook friends will be able to access a ‘virtual space where they can chat, draw, watch 360-degree videos, make video calls on Messenger and take selfies”. The app is already available for download from the Oculus Store, and while it’s not yet clear how Facebook plans on bringing brands into this new virtual world, chances are it won’t take too long for us to discover it once the user base has grown.

“We’re adding analytics support for Facebook Pages and offline conversions”.

At SoAmpli, we are working hard to introduce more and more smart content automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is why we were particularly interested in Facebook’s announcement about their new and enhanced analytics for business pages. These will include AI elements to “scan your analytics and highlight important changes or your best performing content”, helping you deliver more relevant content to your audience on your official pages on an on-going basis. Interestingly, with the rise of bots within Messenger, Facebook is also planning on “extending omni-channel analytics for Facebook’s family of apps and services, […] so you can measure and understand the interactions people have with your Page, alongside their other activity on your website, app and bot”.

“We’re making it simpler for teams to share ideas and collaborate inside Workplace”.

Last but not least, Facebook is also planning on enhancing the capabilities of Workplace, their internal comms/collaborative platform which is currently being used by 14,000 businesses around the world. Workplace will now include tools to let users build bots to interact in groups (i.e. to make a group pizza order for lunch), assign tasks, as well as host group video calls.

Whether specialist competitors such as Slack should be worried is still unclear, given the scope of Facebook’s action and variety of products. However, the announcements surely provided an interesting look into the future and need for this kind of technologies for teams around the world.

If you want to find out more about how SoAmpli’s content automation can help your company reach its ambitious sales goals, please get in touch!

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