F8 refers to the Facebook Developer Conference, an annual event where developers from around the world gather to learn more about what’s new at Facebook and how developers are best using the tools Facebook provides. This year’s conference played out over May 1 and May 2 and covered topics including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and the Facebook family of apps: Instagram, Messenger, and more. Each year, Facebook introduces new features and options, so let’s dive right in!
- Analytics Overhaul
This is great news for Facebook advertisers! Facebook is overhauling the analytics tools it offers, and one of the biggest announcements at this year’s conference was that advertisers will soon be able to see the whole customer journey—regardless of channel—before a conversion. Machine learning is going to allow marketers to gain additional insight into the customer journey; where is it smooth sailing? Where is there excessive friction? These new insights will allow marketers to optimize the user experience.
- AR Is Coming to Messenger
AR will soon be an option for brands within Messenger. Customers will be able to skip setting foot in a brick-and-mortar store and, instead, ask their questions via Messenger. Facebook is allowing marketers to provide customer service more easily and at a higher quality.
- Dating Service
This was possibly the most newsworthy announcement from F8. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will soon offer dating profiles, but don’t worry! You won’t match with friends. Facebook says that the goal is to establish meaningful relationships, and it plans to do this by matching users who have opted in by similarities within their Facebook accounts. It will be interesting to see if Facebook rolls out advertising options within the dating service, similar to how it added ad formats to Messenger.
- Facebook Watch Party
Video has continued to grow in importance on Facebook. First, we saw video performing best in the News Feed. Then, live video emerged. After that, shows with Watch Lists were introduced. Now, Facebook has announced Watch Party, a feature that allows friends to collaborate while watching content. It’s like getting together in your living room to watch the latest episode of your favorite shows, but it’s digital. This will make a video strategy even more important to marketers.
- Clear History
Facebook announced that a tool will be introduced that allows users to delete their history on Facebook. It seems that this is important to advertisers because it may impact the number of users who can be targeted in audiences. If Facebook has less information on users, the quality of targeting may decrease, leading to more expensive clicks, conversions, etc.