The F8 conference of Facebook is unveiling the roadmap of the most popular social network for the next 10 years. The conference counts for more than 2,600 attendees and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live.
Mark Zuckerberg started the conference and provided some important details about Facebook’s 10-year technology roadmap. He particularly underlined the ways those technologies will help bring people together and give everyone a voice. “We are one global community,” he said. “Whether we are welcoming a refugee fleeing war or an immigrant seeking opportunity, coming together to fight a global disease like Ebola or to address climate change.”
After the performance, Zuckerberg made a post on his Facebook page saying that “even if it’s unusual for a CEO to address world issues and lay out a 10-year roadmap to improve them, I care deeply about connecting the world and bringing people together, so I wanted to put this out there. It’s different from any other speech I’ve given.”
The lists of key speakers also included Deb Liu, who leads Facebook’s developer platform group; Ime Archibong, a director of strategic partnerships working closely with the global developer community; David Marcus, a leader of the Facebook Messenger group; and Chris Cox, chief product officer.
The following speakers will continue presenting Facebook’s idea for the next ten years on the second day of the conference: Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer; Christine Abernathy, manager of open source program; Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure; Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, leader of Applied Machine Learning team; and Yaser Sheikh, the head of Oculus Research team in Pittsburgh.
The first day of the conference was divided into three main sections: developing Facebook over the next three years, improving Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and other products over the next five years, and creating virtual reality, AI and worldwide connectivity over the next 10 years. Remarkable, the conference unveiled Facebook’s plans for augmented reality as well while the company used to be focused on virtual reality only so far.
The most important announcements of the first day are:
- Live API: Due to the success of Facebook Live, the API will be opened so that developers will be able design even more ways for people and publishers to interact and share online on Facebook.
- Bots for Messenger: Being a part of the Messenger Platform, bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages. The Messenger Send / Receive API will enable sending and receiving not only text, but also images and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls-to-action.
- Facebook Surround 360: Facebook developed a 3D-360 camera system called Facebook Surround 360. The system includes stitching technology that seamlessly connects the video from 17 cameras, thus considerably reducing post-production effort and time. The design specs and stitching code will be available on GitHub this summer.
- Profile Expression Kit: Facebook users get a possibility to use third-party apps to create fun and personality-infused profile videos with just a few taps. The closed beta with support for six apps is launched. The apps include Boomerang by Instagram, Lollicam, BeautyPlus, Cinemagraph Pro by Flixel, Lollicam, MSQRD, and Vine.
- Free Basics Simulator & Demographic Insights: Developers can now easier build for Free Basics with the Free Basics Simulator and Demographic Insights. The first one allows to see how the service will appear in the product while the second one will help developers to better understand the types of people using their services.
- Account Kit: Account Kit allows users to log into new apps with just phone number or email address.
- Facebook Analytics for Apps updates: The product is already used by more than 450,000 unique apps, and now Facebook introduces more features to help developers and marketers grow their businesses with deeper audience insights, and push and in-app notifications (beta).
- Quote Sharing: It is a new service to easily share quotes people find around the web or in apps with their Facebook friends.
- Save Button: The name speaks for itself. The Save Button lets people save interesting content into their Saved folder on Facebook.
Facebook is also planning to integrate an in-store mobile payment option to let users make purchases via its Messenger app. The company is working on turning Messenger into the retail hub, providing customers with an access to a wide range of services. The new payment option is expected to significantly expand its customer base. The number of Messenger users currently accounts for 1 billion. The service would also become an additional source of revenue for the company.