Facebook’s F8 Conference was held on March 25th and 26th in San Francisco. It was originally directed towards consumers, but a larger developer audience has emerged. There were a lot of big announcements made that will affect businesses and consumers alike over the next few years. The internet world is growing fast and Facebook plans to stay a major role in it.
On the first day of the event, Facebook detailed out why we see the posts that we do when scrolling down our newsfeeds. Posts have a score based on content type, post activity, and your relationship with the poster. Even if you and Carl have the same exact friends list because your best friends forever, you will still have a different news feed. For example you may have liked and commented on John’s video about cats so now you will see more of John’s activity in the future. Meanwhile Carl might have skipped over the video and listened to the Spotify playlist Ben posted on pirate metal.
A while ago Facebook separated their messaging functionality from their main mobile app to a stand alone one. At the time it caused a lot of confusion, but now things are making sense. Facebook is changing the online shopping experience and the way we interact with those businesses. Receipts, shipping notifications and customer service issues will all be stored in your Facebook messenger inbox. Add the ability to make quick and easy purchases through the app and we are looking into the future of how we make online payments.
Facebook’s purchase of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift is a major part of their ten-year plan in becoming immersive. They want to bring people into “moments” for both users and marketers. Mark Zuckerberg also announced that spherical videos will be supported on newsfeeds. Spherical videos are a 3D video format allowing you to choose where you’re looking, either in a VR headset or by clicking and dragging with a mouse like the example below.
During the second day, Facebook talked about their research into artificial intelligence called, Memory Networks. They didn’t show a whole lot on the topic, but what they did show was pretty interesting. There was a demo of Memory Network reading an abbreviated version of Lord of the Rings, and it was able to answer questions about what it learned in less than one-hundredth of a second.
The future of technology is growing rapidly and Facebook doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Zuckerberg announced, instead of Facebook just announcing a conference when they think its time, this will now be a yearly event.