Facebook’s big developer conference, F8, started today. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the other speakers made some pretty big announcements, with more to come from the show.
F8 continues with focused breakout sessions today and runs Wednesday, April 19 with another keynote presentation at 10 a.m. PT. There’s plenty more to expect, even if it is largely developer-focused. Some of the new Facebook and Messenger features announced today are rolling out immediately.
How to watch
How can you keep up with all these big announcements yourself? Thankfully, Facebook live-streamed the keynote, which you can watch here. Unfortunately, the sessions will only be available after the conference.
Tune into the Facebook for Developers Facebook page tomorrow at 10 a.m. PT to watch the second keynote.
The Camera Effects Platform
CEO Zuckerberg announced the camera effects platform. Referring to the camera modes added so far to apps as “act one,” act two will be about adding effects to build an augmented reality experiences. Camera Effects launches in beta today with basic effects but will grow to 1,000s of options. Camera effects will include major classes of features to add to the experience including location mapping, 3D, and more.
Facebook Spaces – a virtual reality social platform
Virtual reality is seriously gaining steam, and Facebook is a major player in that happening. Facebooks new Spaces platform will provide virtual environments where you and your friends can interact with avatars you choose based on your profile photos. You’ll need a VR headset to try Facebook spaces. The beta app version is available now in the Oculus store.
What to expect for day 2
The announcements have already covered a variety of Facebook products and services, from the Facebook app and Messenger to the company’s other interests — like virtual reality and a heavy emphasis on camera effects and on augmented reality. But there’s still more to expect for day 2.
Group and business bots
Chat bots were a big focus at F8 2016, and it looks like that might shape up to be the case again this year. This time around, however, Facebook is expanding its bots platform to businesses. There are now more than 100,000 bots on the platform. Facebook is introducing Messenger Platform 2.0 to massively improve the capabilities with chat extensions, artificial intelligence, and discovery tabs. In the near future bots on a business page may use AI to anticipate and answer your questions. The goal is to become the yellow pages of messaging.
We’ll be on the ground in San Jose at F8, so follow our site for continuing coverage and updates. You can follow us on Twitter at @DigitalTrends. We’ll keep this page updated with all the F8-related info as we hear it, so stay tuned.