Eight visions of Facebook’s future from its F8 conference

Mark Zuckerbergs social network is potting big on augmented world, hasnt given up on VR but doesnt have much to say about the Facebook killer

As Apple has WWDC and Google has I/ O, so Facebook has F8: the social networks big annual meet has steadily proliferated, from a behavior to speak to developers about the upcoming changes to its pulpit to an event where the world sounds about the energizing brand-new concoctions coming from the House of Zuckerberg.

Facebooks united states president may not quite have Steve Jobs notorious world aberration land the social networks model life is more like an artificial world where nothing of the outside life penetrates but he can still wow where reference is am willing to. Heres the eight biggest things to take away from the San Jose event.

1) Augmented reality is Facebooks big future bet

Facebook wants you to use its camera for more than merely making draws. If theres one word from this years F8, its that.

Sure, youll still be able to sounds pics and send them to sidekicks. But the company too wants to adhesive more and more detail over the real world to create a second, augmented layer.

Some of the characteristic of this camera pulpit racket genuinely beneficial or at the least, recreation. Facebook would be willing to share pics of your run with your speed and age superimposed over the top, for example, and it fantasy of a daytime when youll be able to leave a review of a diner by pinning it to the window.( That one feels like it would have a few kinks setting out in practice, though ).

Other pieces seem less good. Demo one simpler capability of the brand-new camera, Zuckerberg showed that you can add two seconds coffee cup to your image, it was therefore looks like youre not having breakfast alone. Which is surely the bleakest thing ever said in a billion-dollar busines presentation.

2) Its still copying Snapchat

One word that wasnt said on stage, though: Snapchat. Which is odd, because weve witnessed a lot of these features before. The ephemeral messaging app/ social network for trendy teens in rich countries popularised the idea of the AR camera, steadily upgrading its own render from something which simply thumped a few location-aware personas over the top of a pic to facial recognition-based lenses which change you into a bird-dog. This is something teens like.

Facebooks photocopiers have been overheating with the speed at which its been replicating Snapchats pieces, so it was probably looking forward to the ability to finally overtake its contender in LA. But it was not to be: six hours before F8 started, Snapchat exhausted its own AR functionality, which its calling World Lenses. The brand-new lenses are slightly lower feature-rich than what Facebook is promising, but unlike the Camera Platform, its previously on phones now. Sure, its deceitful and underhanded to gazump Facebook like that, but Snapchats owed a bit of payback. Compose? Snapchat 21: 0 Facebook.

3) Facebook hasnt given up on VR

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An attendee tries the brand-new Facebook Spaces virtual reality platform during the annual Facebook F8 developers meet in San Jose, California. Photo: Stephen Lam/ Reuters

Facebook hasnt forgotten about Oculus, the virtual reality companionship it bought in 2013 for a cool$ 2bn. It may have quietly lost the companys co-founder a few months after it was revealed that he funded a shitposting for Trump political action committee, but the make itself continues to see brand-new assist. Case in moment? Facebook Space, a VR chatroom where you and your friends can hang out and do stuff.

Its not much different from a number of apps on Oculus today, like Bigscreen, which let you chill with other people in VR except that its tied in to Facebook proper, meaning that its going to be a lot easier to integrate with your lying rapport radical. The companionship is also making efforts to include people who dont own the expensive hardware necessary to experience genuine VR, causing simple-minded smartphone users join in via a flat video call.

The developers havent been forgotten: one of the nerdier edicts was a brand-new coding framework for VR, built on Facebooks React platform. It may sound niche, but React is a javascript library, more commonly used for build user interface for the web. If React VR takes off, it is able to change virtual reality developing from a prohibitively expensive pastime to something that companies can do as easily as thumping up a mobile app.

4) Its visualizing a great deal about the money

One of the onstage execs presenting alongside Zuckerberg was Deborah Liu, whose daytime chore is the companys conductor of make administration for monetisation. That “ve had enough” of a suggestion about how Facebook hopes this daring brand-new frontier should work for its bottom line

Lius past at the company was leader up the Mobile App Install Ad product those adverts on your newsfeed that ask you to install brand-new apps and plays but this time, she was talking about all the branding opportunities the Camera Platform offerings. That includes those diner reviews that the company guess people leaving tacked up, discoverable by a phone; and it also includes the more personal sample of a birthday word engendered over a pic of her daughter. I can spawn her birthday even more meaningful, Liu told as she triggered some visual effects.

Its not just adverts, though. The companionship too hopes to give developers the chance to use its visual tools to make their own AI-powered, AR-realised works and plugins for the camera, potentially prompting another work spurt comparable to the creation of the smartphone in the first place.

5) Messenger is becoming more like WeChat

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David Marcus, vice president of Messaging Concoctions at Facebook, am speaking on place. Photo: Stephen Lam/ Reuters

Not everything was about Facebook itself. The companys second biggest make, Messenger, too got a raft of pieces, curing produce it further towards Facebooks clear revelation for it: Chinese messaging app WeChat.

While Messenger has a billion useds, its not as embedded in their daily lives to the extent that WeChat has achieved in its home commonwealth. There, the chat app is used to pay invoices, book airplane tickets and follow celebrities, as well as simple one-to-one communication.

Facebooks early ventures with chatbots was a step in that counseling, and now the company has announced an modernise of its pulpit to try and raising more and more of our associated life in to Messenger. That means simple-minded recreation, like turn-by-turn multiplayer plays and bots wholl play with you if your friends arent accessible; it means connection with the physical world, thanks to the addition of a brand-new way of QR code that you are able to examine at happenings to instantly connect with firebrands; and it means brand-new uncovering pieces to let you actually find some of those bots without needing to be told where they are beforehand.

6) Its working with the likes of Apple and Spotify

Facebook cant make love alone, though: unifying the world behind Messenger too means the world needs to join in. So one of the biggest takeovers for the pulpit is the fact that its managed to convince Apple to build an extension for Apple Music, so that users can browse their music library from within the app to send anthems to friends.

Its not quite the first time Apple Musics spawned it outside of Apples walled garden the company divulged brand-new soil when it exhausted an Android app for the streaming service but it would point out that both companies are serious about wider support for their brand-new products.

Apple Musics not the only one to join up, though; Spotify has a same extension. And unlike Apple, which could only say that the Music add-on is coming soon, Spotifys extension is launching alongside the Messenger platform.

7) It wants to suppresses the workplace chat implements Slack

One more thing: Facebook wants to be in your workplace, wherever that is. The busines previously disclosed its make for businesses, announced Workplace( reached in Britain, for those patriotic houses) but it was previously sloped at fairly significant firms. With pricing that started at$ 3 per user per month, it wasnt something that an unpredictable busines would be able to jump onboard with, even though there is a three-month free trial.

Now, Facebooks made a guide from indie darling Slack, which activated current trends for business application being cool in the first place. By the end of this year, a brand-new rule rank will be free for any companionship that wants to use it, with enterprises only needing to pay if they crave new and better admin tools and cloud storage.

Of course, while Facebook is impinging on Slacks turf, Slack very is beginning to move on to Facebooks: the very existence of the free rank of the app means that some useds have found most non-commercial avail ourselves of it, creating Slack groups to consider everything from podcasts to role playing games.

8) Facebook doesnt more have any answers to its biggest problems

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ engineering/ 2017/ apr/ 19/ facebook-f8-conference-mark-zuckerberg-augmented-reality