(Written by Carter Jensen!)
Instead of the standard Social Pulse rundown of five things we’re tracking, this week we wanted to do something different given all the news coming out of Facebook this week at the F8 conference.
What is F8?
Facebook F8, sometimes referred to as the “Coachella for Nerds,” is an annual conference for developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services around Facebook and its associated companies. The “F8” name comes from Facebook’s tradition of 8-hour hackathons.
Why are these announcements so important?
Unlike other technology conferences, Facebook is notorious for the rapid availability of the products announced during this event. Most of these innovations will be available to the 2 Billion Facebook users within the next few weeks. Fallon continues to work closely with Facebook on these updates, and we are excited to bring these new features to life for our brands right away.
Here’s an overview of the most impactful news from this week…
Instant AR – Integrated Newsfeed Experience: Animated 3D objects will soon be turned into augmented reality objects with a feature that takes the graphic from the News Feed to the Facebook Camera in one tap. The list of brand opportunities and ideas for this new feature continues to grow here in our offices as we cannot wait to bring these new experiences to life in the coming days. (VIDEO)
AR In Messenger – Immersive Commerce and Brand Discovery: Brands will soon be able to create AR camera effects in Messenger. The feature will allow companies to create immersive experiences that allow customers to learn, try on, and customize products all within the platform. Nike and Sephora were showcased during the convention as we at Fallon are already in the process of building out the next iteration of this experience. (VIDEO)
Watch Party – Making Video More Social: Watch Party is a new feature in Facebook that allows you to watch live video while chatting with a group of friends. The feature was created to encourage meaningful participation and discussion on the platform as Facebook continues to expand its video and ‘Live” offering. We are excited to continue to expand our publishing capabilities on the platform as viewership continues to expand and become more social. (VIDEO)
Instagram Camera – FX & AR: Facebook is now unlocking the ability for third parties to design unique, interactive AR camera experiences for their followers on the Instagram platform. If a user finds a new effect in Stories from an account they follow and they want to try it themselves, they just tap “Try it on” and the tool will be added to the tray. More fun creative effects from major accounts are coming in the next few weeks, including Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue, and Buzzfeed. (VIDEO)
Instagram and Facebook Stories – Share From 3rd Party Apps: Facebook is introducing a new way for users to share from their favorite apps to both Facebook and Instagram Stories. “People already share their interests on our platforms, and now we’re making that experience faster, easier and more creative on Stories.” For example, users can now simply tap the share button in an app like Spotify to share what you’re listening to directly into the camera. From there you can edit and share to your story or feed. You don’t have to connect your Facebook or Instagram account to other apps in order to share to Stories. We cannot wait to start linking external digital experiences directly into this community! (VIDEO)
Instagram’s New Look – Video Chat & Explore: First and foremost, Instagram has updated its app to include an improved Explore section. The new explore section is sorted by topics, allowing you to find interesting content more quickly. In addition to overhauling the Explore table, Instagram is also changing the way it displays content. Besides A.I. sorting, Instagram is now using community curation to make the Explore tab more personalized. In addition to the new and improved Explore UI, Facebook is bringing video chat to the platform to give friends a new way to spend time together — even when they aren’t actually together. To start a video chat, users can simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. We already know the power Instagram can have for brands and cannot wait to see how these new features continue to push the platform. (VIDEO – Video Chat; VIDEO – Explore)
VR / Oculus – New Hardware & Experiences: Facebook used F8 to announce its newest hardware, the Oculus Go. Oculus Go, the first stand-alone VR headset, is available now and is shipping for $199 (We already have a few on the way). In addition to the hardware announcement, Facebook released several new initiatives to make VR more entertaining and social. Check out the video below for the full rundown of these new experiences. We cannot wait to see you in this virtual world soon! (VIDEO; VIDEO – Pointillism)
Privacy and Politics – Clear History: Facebook could not avoid the privacy spotlight entirely as they announced plans to build a ‘Clear History’ tool that would enable users to see the websites and apps that send information when you use them, delete this information from your account. This announcement was in conjunction with a long list of other initiatives Zuckerberg covered in hopes of gaining back the trust of the general community. (VIDEO)
We did our best to succinctly cover the highlights of F8 above, but there were also advances in dating, 3D spaces, bullying prevention, up/down voting and Messenger innovations worth reviewing. Full summaries of the changes coming to Facebook’s ecosystem can be found online via developers.facebook.com. And you can watch the full video of the F8 keynote here.