F8: Facebook’s Developer Conference

Last month in San Jose, California, Facebook held its annual 2-day Facebook Developer Conference, F8. Business leaders and developers from around the world joined forces to experience and learn from the progress Facebook is making in the tech world. This year’s event hosted over 50 sessions, multiple interactive presentations, and numerous networking opportunities. The conference was so popular, in fact, that cities all around the world hosted meetups where they viewed live keynote speakers and on demand sessions. These can be found here https://developers.facebook.com/videos .

Topics presented included:

  • Ads & Monetization
  • Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Camera
  • Engineering & Open Source
  • Facebook Platform
  • Growth
  • Media & Publishers
  • Research
  • Virtual Reality
  • Workplace and more!

Many important updates were announced including:

  • Camera Abilities: The company is adding many new capabilities to its use of cameras. Not only will the company add face filters and 3D effects for users which will help it stand up against the competition from SnapChat, but they will also utilize cameras for augmented reality. Developers were invited to experiment with filters, games, and more in order to build up the company’s AR abilities. This will lead to the ability to incorporate online information, including notes, reviews, and art, into the real world. Also, two new cameras were highlighted which can capture video with “six degrees of freedom.”
  • Virtual Reality: Facebook Spaces is a virtual reality app currently in a beta phase for Oculus Rift and Touch devices. Users can create a virtual character based on selected Facebook photos and interact with other users. The ability to draw objects will let users create objects and there will be a variety of 360 videos and photos for users to explore. Users can even share the experience with non-VR users through Messenger.
  • Innovation: Regina Dugan, Facebook’s VP of Engineering and Head of Building 8, spoke on the future of communication and its ability to happen without typing, tapping, or talking. A team is currently working on “silent speech interface”, a machine that will decode users’ neural activity in order to “type” 100 words per minute. This technology was created to help those with communicative disorders as well as to aid augmented reality technology.
  • Artificial Intelligence: In order to compete against technology such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, the company developed M. Although this product isn’t new, it is gaining new capabilities such as the ability for businesses to automate customer interactions and users to get suggestions for nearby restaurants and order through a third-party application.
  • Developer Circles: With developers all around the world working on Facebook’s platform, it is difficult to facilitate programs where users can collaborate and learn from each other. “Developer Circles” programs were created for developers to join together on and off-line. This program saw a lot of success in its pilot program and now cities around the world will host customized Facebook training programs which will be aided by online education partners.

With all of this new technology being researched, it is clear to see that Facebook will continue its reign as the most popular social media site. We look forward to seeing what the company’s worldwide developer team will accomplish this year and how these advancements will affect the rest of the industry. Stay tuned to our blog for more technology news, company highlights, and more!