What to Watch for at Facebook’s F8 Conference


This year marks the 10th annual F8 Conference, also known as the Facebook Developer Conference. What should developers and publishers look for? Here are some insights from around the web:

On VR:

A good place to begin is last year. That’s when, of course, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer discussed Facebook technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

This year?

  • Wired: “With Oculus VR, change comes bigger and faster. You can bet virtual dollars to virtual donuts Zuckerberg dons a Rift at some point to show everyone the latest in VR. That headset might be the much-hyped standalone Rift Zuckerberg teased last fall, but it’ll likely still be in prototype form. He’ll almost certainly have newly social things to do, as the Oculus crew keeps working on what life looks like once everyone’s in VR.”

“This is in line with Facebook’s vision to help people connect and share through VR technologies. I believe we will hear more updates about Facebook’s Social VR during the F8 conference and maybe examples of businesses which have been using it to engage their audience.”

On Messenger:

  • Wired: “Messenger looks like Facebook’s favorite new plaything, and seems due for some changes. Last year’s big bot experiment didn’t go as planned, but Facebook still wants to know how it can insert itself into your conversations. Expect to hear more about the new M Suggest feature, and about more things the M assistant can do. And messy rollout and user frustrations be damned, that bots platform ain’t going away.”
  • Business2Community: “Looking at some of the other big messaging apps such as WeChat and Line, Facebook might continue to work on features to help businesses connect with their customers and customers make transactions with businesses.

“For example, just this month, Facebook launched suggestions from M, its Messenger AI assistant. If you and your friends are talking in Messenger about going somewhere, M would offer an option of getting a Lyft or Uber ride. It could be possible that Facebook would open up its API to allow businesses to build services on top of M, allowing users to do even more with Messenger.”

On Bots:

  • TechCrunch: “Facebook will reveal at its F8 conference a new class of group bots that work inside Messenger group chats. These group bots can keep users informed about real-time news such as a sports game’s progress, e-commerce deliveries and more, according to three sources familiar with the development of the feature.

“Facebook is already working with top chatbot makers to prepare for the launch. Facebook will open up APIs to allow more developers to start building group bots, too. When asked for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said ‘we don’t comment on rumors or speculation,’ but my sources confirm this is coming.”

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