F8 2017: the highlights
Carolina Mateus
21 Apr. 2017

On April 18th and 19th, Facebook’s conference dedicated to developers – F8 – gathered more than 4000 people and, as always, brought a lot of news, that made the future of this tech giant even more exciting.

Those who attended got to choose between 50 sessions, take part in exclusive activities, meet members of the Facebook team and enjoy the afterparty. In the middle of all this, which news stood out?

Messenger platform 2.0

Facebook has been investing a lot on Messenger – with the recently added reactions and mentions, for example – and at F8 it was revealed that this investment did not end there. So what’s new about Messenger?

  • Chat extensions: you will be able to include a bot in your group conversations and make them more interactive. Bots will be a bridge between you and your friends and businesses and they will allow you to do things like create joint playlists on Spotify, make shopping lists and decide who buys what and make restaurant reservations.
  • Smart replies: people with Facebook Pages will be able to reply to FAQs with automated replies, created by AI.
  • Ordering food: Facebook’s AI assistant, M, now allows users to order meals. The whole process, including payment, is done on Messenger.
  • Messenger Codes: QR codes that will allow Pages to communicate with consumers in a new way.
  • Facebook Spaces

    Virtual reality arrives to Facebook with Facebook Spaces. You will start by creating your avatar based on a photo of yourself. Then, you will be able to invite your friends to do the same and interact with them, share memories, create 3D objects, take photos and more. All of this, in a virtual world. And, since Facebook knows that not everyone has a VR headset, you will also be able to participate through video call.

    Camera Effects Platform

    The news announced by Mark Zuckerberg that opened the conference. Camera Effect Platform comes with the goal of turning the camera into the first augmented reality platform.

    How? By offering developers two tools that allow them to create effects for the Facebook Camera:

  • Frame Studio allows each Facebook user (personal profile or page) to create frames, that will then be available for their friends/fans to use on profile images or on the Facebook Camera (as long as they follow the proper guidelines, of course).
  • AR Studio allows developers and artists to build their own AR experiences that, once approved by Facebook, can be used in photos, videos and live broadcasts.
  • For now, the second tool is only available for a closed group of users, but the first one is already online.

    Developer Circles

    With several circles that any developer can join at no charge, this platform gives developers all over the world a place where they can exchange ideas, communicate, collaborate and even arrange meetups. If you’re a developer on Facebook, you can look for circles here and join the conversation!

    Places graph

    A tool that gives developers free access to over 140 million locations worldwide. Why is this interesting? Because of the opportunity to provide users with experiences with location awareness, with photos and ratings, allowing them to know about the place where they are, what to visit and what to do. You can read more about Places Graph and its benefits here.

    These are just a few of the news revealed. Which one are you most excited about?