Facebook held their 10th annual developer conference, F8 and as always, it was full of product announcements across all of their platforms including Messenger, WhatsApp, Occulus, Instagram and of course, Facebook.
What started as an 8-hour hackathon 10 years ago, has evolved into a 2-day power-packed conference.
After Day 1 of the conference, I was invited to talk on FM 90.5 about some of the announcements that were made.
The past year has been a difficult year for the Facebook team. Government and individuals are becoming increasingly concerned about privacy and it's clear that Facebook execs recognize that it's time to fundamentally shift how products are built and communities are run. In the past, the culture has been to build, launch and tweak/deal with the ramifications later. Now they're more cautious about the ramifications of their products. As well, where Facebook once focused on sharing everything with the world, they're now more concentrated on 'digital living rooms' that is, sharing with the people who you are truly connected with. And finally, Facebook is now interested in actually getting people off-line, leveraging the platforms to make meaningful connections but only as a means to actual real-life conversations and engagement.
So, what does all this mean?
- Messenger will have boosted capabilities that will let users connect more rapidly but will also let businesses engage more seamlessly. Things like making appointments or reservations through Messenger will become more prevelant. There will also be new lead generation templates in Ads Manager.
- Facebook Groups will have more emphasis so that people with similar interests can better connect and engage. Marketers and businesses need to recognize that people will be hanging out in groups more which has traditionally been a difficult segment to reach on Facebook. This means that individual networks will become important and that businesses will need to be part of groups and engage with the people in them.
- WhatsApp will be featuring a business catalogue right within the app. This will allow businesses to showcase their goods so people can easily discover them.
- Marketplace in Facebook will soon allow people to ship from within the platform. This will open up new markets for makers and small businesses as there will also be a payment gateway from within Marketplace.
- Instagram will be gradually launching the ability to shop from creators. Audiences will be able to buy items on the spot and shop from the app.
- Fundraising in Instagram was launched which allows non-profit organizations use donation stickers in Stories with 100% going to the non-profit.
I talked about lots on air so be sure to have a listen and starting thinking about how you and your business can use these new tools.