Facebook F8 is a mostly-annual conference held by Facebook that is intended for people who build products and services around its platform. The 2015 event that was held on March 25th, 2015, unveiled the company's new strategy to better serve the developer's community.
Taking place in San Francisco, California, Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered his keynote speech to highlight the company's tradition in delivering sessions concentrating on specific topics. At the 2015 conference, Zuckerberg also detailed a number of the social network's new features, products, and updates.
The changes and updates for Facebook are more focused to developers than any previous years.
Messenger as a Service
The company launched Messenger Platform to offer developers to create apps for users to create and share contents, and new ways to communicate with businesses. Facebook will focus on how developers can build ways for content and information to flow through Messenger.
Facebook also integrates Messenger with businesses such as online retailers to provide a direct channel for communicating with customers in real time. With new ways for developers to offer experiences through its Messenger app, Facebook is trying to get into the business model popularized by the likes of Asia's WeChat and Line that both succeeded in becoming a platform on their own, beyond just texting.
"Over the last couple years, we've been building Messenger into a service that can help you express yourself in many more ways beyond simple text messages," said Zuckerberg.
Real-Time Commenting System
Facebook has used technologies to deliver comments to post in an almost instant manner. With about 3 billion views per day, Facebook wants to make comments better and useful, Facebook overhauls the feature to make comments appear in real-time, comments will sync between the story page and the shared story item on the user's Facebook page.
Embedding Facebook Videos to Other Websites
Facebook has hosted its users' videos to compete more with YouTube. By having more people uploading videos straight to Facebook instead of YouTube, the company has keep more users using its services instead of relying on the platform offered by Google.
At the conference, Facebook is putting that feature a step further by allowing allowing users to embed their Facebook videos on other sites.
Google has long features StreetView for people to see other places as if they were there. Facebook is doing a similar move by introducing spherical video in its News Feed. The feature allows users to move around a video with their mouse cursor.
Supporting 3D to deliver the feature, Facebook delivers the Oculus Rift's VR that it acquired, to open up a 360° spherical video..
LiveRail, an ad exchange that fills ad space within apps and sites to the highest bidder, was acquired by Facebook on July 2014. At the conference, Facebook made two changes: supporting mobile display ads in addition to videos, and tapping into the pool of anonymized Facebook data to determine which ad to show.
LiveRail also allows developers to make money off mobile display ads.
Analytics for Apps
Facebook houses a lot of data, and that data also include information that is highly beneficial to developers. The company wants to give developers more data by giving analytics for apps in order for them to know who are using their apps.
The free analytics tools can be used to provide a barometer for the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. As an example, Facebook itself has used data from these analytics tools to improve its search bar. By observing the data, Facebook made changes to successfully multiply the number of mobile searches.
Parse for The Internet Of Things
Facebook launched Parse for Internet Of Things - a set of SDKs that act as the backend brains for projects.
Ilya Sukhar, founder of Parse (acquired by Facebook in 2013) said the company was releasing new tools to help programmers build apps for connected devices. Parse will take care of the backend, including app analytics, sending push notifications to people at the right time, and collecting crash data so developers only have to focus on building their apps
Facebook in Many Places
Facebook is turning itself into the hub for everything. While competitors are doing the same thing, like for example Google, Facebook is aiming to deliver its social services into the next level by expanding it out of its core business. In short, Facebook is declaring that it wants to own every single thing that its users do on the internet.
Facebook is making its attempt to control:
- Social networking.
- Messaging friends (Messenger, WhatsApp).
- Messaging businesses (Messenger).
- Advertising (Paid Ads, LiveRail, Pages).
- Paying your friends.
- Buying and selling things online.
- Virtual reality (Oculus).
- Video/TV (Facebook Video).
- Development platform (Parse).
- How you actually receive the internet.
- Photos (Instagram).
By putting itself in more places, users would see Facebook in almost anywhere on the web. If they don't have Facebook already, it's going to be hard for them to avoid Facebook. As a hub, Facebook wants to be the easiest way for people to use the internet.
It's just a matter of small things in people's everyday life that Facebook saw. The closer Facebook is in giving every single one of those to people on the internet, the closer the company is in controlling the entire internet.