The Top Reveals from Facebook F8 2019
Your complete F8 roundup
The official Facebook developers event, F8 drew over 5,000 attendees from across the globe this year, all keen to learn about the future of the technology under the Facebook brand.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the event started with a focus on a new privacy mantra for the company, inspired no doubt by the scrutiny that Facebook has seen since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The theme of the event seemed to focus on delivering innovation without compromising on privacy.
When Zuckerberg opened the two-day event, he discussed his vision to create a more private social platform, where people could feel safe expressing themselves and connecting with others online.
Let’s look at some of the biggest reveals we saw from F8 2019:
Delivering a Safer Social Channel with AI
Artificial Intelligence has a strong part to play in the development of products and services offered by Facebook. The company has used intelligent systems in the past to detect content that violates the terms and conditions of the platform. However, now, Facebook is working even harder to track and remove problematic content.
Using advances in Natural Language Processing, Facebook have built a common translation language, so that they can capture signs of harmful content like hate speech, bullying, and harassment in different languages. The company has also invested in a new strategy for object recognition named Panoptic FPN, which helps Facebook to check for inappropriate content in the background of photos too.
Self-supervised learning algorithms will also be training on the Facebook platform going forward, helping the brand to understand better and prevent policy violations.
Facebook Messenger Updates: Ads Messenger for Business
The Facebook team also revealed a range of updates to their Messenger service this year, including the promise of a lighter, more reliable application. Going forward, customers will have the option to download a messenger desktop app, watch videos with friends in real-time, and track down contacts through their messenger system.
Most importantly (at least for our readers), Facebook is also making it easier for companies to connect with their leads and existing customers too. Lead generation templates are coming to the Facebook Ads Manager, which will allow companies to create ads that push people towards simple Q&A sessions in messenger. This will help brands to learn more about their customers and make it easier for clients to book appointments, and set up interactions with companies.
Introducing Business Catalogs for WhatsApp
Zuckerberg and the Facebook team won’t be letting their acquisition of WhatsApp go to waste this year. According to the company, they’ll be releasing a new way to help businesses and customers connect through this platform too.
With the arrival of the new WhatsApp Business catalogue, you’ll find new ways to connect with your clients in the months to come. Users will be able to see a business catalogue within their WhatsApp application when talking to a company. This allows brands to showcase their most popular products so that clients can buy them easily.
Updating the Facebook UI
You may have already noticed some changes to your Facebook UI lately. Once again, the company is refreshing its interface design to ensue that users have a more comfortable experience when interacting with friends and family. The updated UI puts Facebook Groups at the centre of Facebook, to help connect people on a deeper level.
What’s more, the FB5 design is simpler, more effective and faster, so that people can interact without having to worry about unnecessary distractions. The new attempts to make Facebook’s UI more immersive are sure to extend over into the Facebook Workplace experience going forward too. We’re interested to see how these changes will make a difference in the way you use Facebook to facilitate your business conversations.
Facebook Dating – Could it Lead to Facebook Networking?
During F8 this year, Facebook also introduced a new “Dating” feature, where people can opt-in to discover potential matches in their Facebook community. In a way, the experience is similar to the networking opportunities on LinkedIn, where employees can mark themselves as “looking for a job” to attract the attention of potential recruiters.
The introduction of Facebook Dating has gotten us wondering about what might happen if Facebook started investing in a business profile environment that’s similar to LinkedIn. The sheer size of Facebook would make it an incredible opportunity for employees and professionals looking to interact with peers in their industry.
Crossing Boundaries with AR and VR
In 2019, Facebook will be taking your social media experience into a brand-new world with the introduction of new AR and VR solutions. Through their inclusive AI policy, Facebook will be ensuring that they do everything possible to make Spark AR more available to everyone. Oculus engineers are also using the latest AI and AR capabilities on Facebook to create incredible new experiences too.
The latest Oculus virtual reality headsets designed by Facebook, including the Oculus Rift S, and the Oculus Quest will be shipping out on the 21st of May this year. The Quest is designed specifically for VR gaming, while the Rift allows you to explore all kinds of VR content. The most exciting reveal for companies is the upcoming release of Oculus for Business later in 2019.
Organisations will be able to access a variety of tools that will help them to transform and shape the way that they do business through VR.
Going Beyond Video with Portal
Another element of Facebook’s AR and VR strategy includes the extension of their “Portal” solution. The Portal environment allows people to create lifelike avatars complete with facial expressions, gestures, and other critical nuances. Portal will be expanding internationally in the Autumn of this year, starting with the move from US to Canada. After that, both Portal and Portal+ will be coming to Europe too.
Facebook will be combining Portal with WhatsApp, to give people even more opportunities to tap into mixed realities, and they’ll also be including encryption on all calls made through the Portal, Messenger, and WhatsApp environments.
To truly transform your communication experience beyond the video conferencing real, Facebook is also adding new ways for people to connect to Portal. For instance, you can use speech recognition and natural language processing technology to say, “Hey Portal, Good Morning,” and get a rundown of all the information you need to know about birthdays, the events of the day and more. Through a collaboration with Amazon, Facebook is also adding further visual skills and Alexa opportunities to Portal, such as smart home control, flash briefings, and more. You’ll even be able to use Facebook Live via Portal too.
Workplace by Facebook got updates, too
Workplace by Facebook announced the launch of a new design for the Workplace web experience, which allows:
- Quick access to information – It’s now faster to check and act on your notifications with a new navigation that makes it easy to switch between Workplace groups, Notifications and Workplace Chat
- Fewer distractions to get more work done – Groups are now more prominent so users can easily navigate to the groups that are most important to them, and spend less time waiting and more time doing
- More connections – With a new ability to easily switch between “Posts” and the “Chat” tabs, users will experience a reduction in the number of clicks needed to find someone, start a chat or connect to groups
In addition to a new UI, Workplace also introduced new ways of interacting with teams via Unified Group Experience and QuickChat to reinforce the “work” aspect of Workplace.