The annual developer conference F8 2018, by Facebook, was held in San Jose this year. This was one of the important conferences of the year regarding social media marketing tools updates and releases. Developers around the world come together to explore latest products, innovations and future announcements. F8 2018 covered a diversity of topics of interest for developers and businesses. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg appeared and addressed first time in public in this two-day event after his recent testimony to Congress.
F8 2018 gave the opportunity to Mark Zuckerberg and other keynote speakers to showcase the new features and provoke goodwill for the company. The conference didn’t only comprise CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s speech but it also had many other keynote speakers from different digital marketing channels and social media platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus.
Considering the Recent Public Appearance of Mark Zuckerberg, F8 2018 Had a Lot More Pressure Regarding Data Privacy Controls
With Facebook’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s overall impression of “social mission and control” in doubt and with so many controversies of data sharing scandal, Russian meddling and privacy problems lately, this two-day flagship conference was considered to be the biggest opportunity for the company to mark its point. Mark Zuckerberg in his last public appearance was accused of revealing personal data of around 87 million users through the network. Millions of people around the world live witnessed the rough treatment given to Zuckerberg on data misuse and many questions were raised with the privacy policies by the Senate and House of Representatives in his congressional testimony. No matter how hard the CEO tried to stick to the script and deflected the questions, people are still pressing him hard on many social mediums to response on Facebook’s extensive tracking of user’s data across the Internet.
With many keynote speakers and the CEO himself, they kicked off the day by convincing the audience their perspective on giving them powerful and meaningful tools and sharing the responsibility of bringing people together by building new services and features.
Introducing the “Clear History” Feature
The CEO started his keynote address by squaring off in apologetic yet determined tone on how they plan to rebuild the user’s trust after the recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Keeping the recent disputes in mind, the new initiative “Clear History” was introduced hours before CEO took the stage. Clear History gives Facebook users more authority and control over Facebook data collection.
Even though it’s a minor control and is considered as a standard tool in many popular web browsers it has been prominently absent in Facebook. This New feature “Clear History” will allow people to delete the history of the websites they have visited from Facebook plus cookies too which are used by companies to track users across many sites. Mark Zuckerberg seemed to be quite determined about this feature as he mentioned to discuss this feature in F8 on his Facebook page too. This feature will not only show users what kind of apps and websites they have been interacting with on Facebook but will also block social networks from collecting and forwarding it.
With around more than 1.3 billion monthly users and 8 billion messages exchange between businesses and people, Messenger is one of the biggest messaging apps. To make communication better through Messenger features like language translation and Augmented Reality was announced. At first, M-translation will work for Spanish-English conversations but soon more languages will be added to manage social media chats. This feature will help in reducing the language barrier and will make conversations easier for businesses. AR technology will let users use their smartphones or headsets to view digital images covered in the real world. This new functionality will give companies and businesses the power to create AR effects with 2D and 3D objects and animations on top of their video and image for enhanced brand experiences. They can further save it to camera roll and share it on their story, any group or one-to-one conversation. Another big announcement for Messenger was to get a complete revamp design to make it simpler, cleaner and faster.
Instagram to launch a video chat
Instagram, also receives a new updated feature of group video chat that will allow people to meet up with friends virtually. Instagram had a direct message feature but lacked video chat which is already popular with Messenger and WhatsApp. A new filter to protect users from getting bullying comments is also introduced to make Instagram a safer place to hang out. The release of redesigned and updated Explore tab was also announced to make it simpler and fun for users to explore the new content related to their favorite topics organized into channels. Sharing stories has also simplified from other apps to Instagram. To share stories you wouldn’t have to connect your Instagram account to other apps, by simply tapping the share button your content will directly pull on to the Instagram camera.
Introducing Headset Oculus Go
One of the startling announcement of F8 2018, was this new virtual reality headset called the Oculus Go. It promises to not only widen the audience for VR to reshape the way people experience and interact life, but to be one of the affordable virtual reality headsets. The fact that it doesn’t require any additional equipment neither a cord nor a smartphone to show 3D videos makes it unique from other virtual reality devices. To increase the excitement and prompt cheers from the audiences, the CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that everyone present at F8 will get a free Oculus Go.
What did WhatsApp Get?
Seems like video chat is a big focus during F8, along with the Instagram’s group video feature WhatsApp group call will also be introduced in the coming months. Competing with Snapchat on stories WhatsApp status are taking over. By introducing new stickers and group video calling it will allow more people to connect and chat with friends, family, and businesses.
Facebook has been announcing a ton of huge updates over the past couple of weeks for its suite products and social media marketing services but this conference was a huge opening for the release announcements of many newly launched products and features. Let’s see how these new releases are going to impact the social media war!