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4 Quick Thoughts on Today’s F8 Keynote

F8 Keynote

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the company’s developer conference today by saying the event, called F8, would focus less on product announcements and more on serving the developer community… and it delivered on just that.

My thoughts:

1. Messenger

fb messenger platform

Messenger is going to KILL IT. 600 million people per month are using it. Messenger is now a platform: Developers will be able to build apps for messenger – so smart…. incredibly smart (they are taking a page from Apple here.), distribution and discovery and attribution all within messenger…. all done incredibly “right.”

40 apps launching on day one indicates a huge initial uptake, and a strong desire from other businesses/developers to want in on the platform. What Facebook and its partners will be able to do from a mobile e-commerce is mind blowing: Just think real-time updates on packages, receipts, on-demand (and smart) customer service all in within the messenger app… simply amazing! Messenger for Business is a serious attempt to kill email and potentially revolutionary from a customer service point of view.

2. Video & Extending Reach of the Ecosystem


YouTube get it together, because Facebook has its sights squarely on you. As Facebook video grows (currently at 3 billion views per day) it’s working towards further exposure and distribution of its content, experience, and making it super easy for developers to adopt along the way.

With new enhanced plug-ins for embedded video users can embed videos with a single line of code. (Note: video above is embedded using this new player and literally took me less than a minute to adopt/implement on my website.)

Spherical videos: (check out this example) are coming to a Newsfeed near you soon… looks like Facebook are going to drag virtually reality into “reality” one way or another. Both Facebook’s Newsfeed and Oculus will support spherical videos. Not only are you going to see more video, but you’re also going to be transported into an entirely new viewing experience.

On the comments front: As for the comments plug-in, new updates would make it easy to carry conversations that occur on news sites that use Facebook comments, such as the Huffington Post (the example given today), back to the social network. “For publishers, this means much greater engagement in media,” said Deborah Liu, who oversees the Facebook platform.

3. Parse


Facebook is trying to own the entire ecosystem and they are well on their way to do exactly that: Parse now has 400,000+ developers building with Parse. 85% of top apps built by Parse are outside the U.S., and last month 500 million instances of active devices. Many of the apps launching for messenger are built on Parse. How effective: 10 million installs of dubsmash all powered by Parse. New SDK for internet of things will be huge.

Ilya Sukhar, founder of Parse (the developer platform that Facebook acquired 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, push notifications, and collecting crash data—so developers only have to focus on building their apps. This will be HUGE if adopted widely, and will make it so much easier to code apps that work with connected devices.

4. Facebook Analytics for Apps & LiveRail News

So just going to mention this one quick: FB Analytics for apps as a free tool = HUGE (you can read more here) It makes it that much easier for developers to understand how people are using their apps across devices, and provides a barometer for the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Closely related: LiveRail, the video ad platform that Facebook acquired last year, will now also support non-video mobile ads… more specifically: in-app mobile display ads. This will allow publishers to manage and optimize yield across all of their mobile advertising opportunities, including ads sold directly to advertisers and from programmatic sources. Bigger news yet is the ads can and will look incredibly “native” (where the ads are formatted to resemble the content) within the apps that they appear in. LiveRail is quickly increasing the relevance of the ads people see on publisher’s sites and mobile apps by adding Facebook’s anonymized people-based marketing capabilities to their platform helping to solve the fundamental problems digital publishers face, by giving them the power to sell their inventory in a more efficient and intelligent manner and in turn, maximize their ad revenue across devices. Simply put when it comes to monetizing mobile Facebook is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

In short Facebook…

Lots of great news coming out of F8 today, and if I had more time, would dive deeper into a whole host of long term implications here (maybe I’ll save it for another post.) I’m eager to watch upcoming session videos when Facebook gets them posted. Facebook is simply crushing it in so many areas, and leaving competition in the DUST.

I need to learn how to build some simple apps and use Parse and the rest of the Facebook ecosystem to get them on devices ;-)

Image credit: Facebook here and here and here.

About Chris Zilo

Ideation + Execution. Mission Driven Startup Guy & Early Adopter obsessed w/ all things tech. Former Third Culture Kid.