Every year Facebook holds a developer conference known as F8. Deveopment on the Facebook platform in 2015 focuses on changes to Messenger, Comments, Video, IoT, virtual reality analytics and so much more. Yep you’re job as a developer would be choosing where to focus with a platform that’s quickly approaching having a deficit in attention span.
Overnight Facebook have announced they want their very successful, yet sometimes controversial messaging system to be a platform. Remember when they tried to replace email ? Facebook itself has supported 3rd party apps for years now, but today we see messenger transitioning to be a platform that developers can also build apps for.
Last year Facebook bought WhatsApp and after combining platforms, they are ready to go the next step. Not satisfied with facilitating the communications of more than a billion Facebook users, they want to get more people communicating in more ways. Apps like Giphy would allow users to easily search for GIFs, or voice changers for fun or potentially anonymity to journalist sources.
This goes a long way to explaining why they needed to separate the product from the Facebook app. It was a confusing decision at the time, but now seems a lot more rational.
Synchronous comments (update realtime)
Comments are a big part of social interaction on Facebook posts and they’re about to get an upgrade. Comments are going real-time. This means when you get the notification there’s been activity you’re involved in, you visit it to read through the comments (or check the likes), you’ll see others contributing live. This should create increased engagement with synchronous communication, only previously available in messenger conversations.
360 video support
Coming soon is support for the new 360 video format. Recently added by Google to YouTube and on show everywhere at CES this year, 360 video will be in our Facebook feed soon. The cameras are still pretty rare, but expect this to change rapidly in 2015.
Video walls are coming down
Once the walled garden, Facebook is now realising the benefits of having embeddable content in domains other than Facebook.com. When a content view is a view, there really is no downside to this for Facebook. If anything allowing users to grab the embed code to show their Facebook video on their (or other) websites, means they are now a more serious competitor to YouTube. The task of sharing video with the world has previously involved uploading it to multiple providers, but now you could use Facebook as your only video provider.
In terms of watermarks there’s a small Facebook logo and link back to FB in the lower right, as well as a video title and view count (let’s assume its impressive). This is actually a lot cleaner than the YouTube embed.
Facebook F8 runs for just 2 days, but is jam packed with sessions on their tools, commerce, design, games, growth and of course advertising. There’s also sessions for media and publishing monetization, open source, and security.