4 big things from F8 2017

Facebook’s annual developers’ conference in San Jose (known as F8) and is the social network’s chance to bring together all their developers in one place to discuss the latest developments and future plans for the platform.
This years event has just finished and I thought we should round up some of the key announcements:
1. AR Studio

Facebook knows that SnapChat are leading the way with AR in their messaging app and to try and counteract this dominance, Facebook have decided to open up its AR technology so that app developers can use it without a licence cost.
Facebook is opening up its AR platform so developers can make use of Facebook immense computing power without having to invest in the costly and complex tech themselves. AR studio is the tool they will be able to use to make the most of it.
There are a few interesting examples of this in the video above.
2. Facebook Surround 360
Facebook has announced 2 new camera’s to help the world make more 360 (3D) video content. Facebook has been leading the way in the delivery of 360 video to the world and with this latest announcement Facebook are showing their deeper commitment to this exciting new technology.
Rather than producing the equipment themselves, Facebook is opening the technology up to manufacturers to use their software and knowhow to build new cameras. These two new 360 cameras (one with 24 cameras and one with 6) were manufactured by FLIR, a company mostly known for its thermal-imaging cameras.
We are so excited about new 360 video technology and the power it can have in bringing web experiences to life. We held a training session this week at our Nottingham offices to try out some of the latest equipment ourselves. Pic below:

Find out more here >>
3. Facebook Workplaces

Facebook announced that there would be a free version of Workplace, available by the end of 2017.
Workplace is Facebook’s answer to collaboration tool Slack and is designed to help with productivity.
Right now, the full version of Workplace is free. But later this year that will change, with a paid-for premium version, offering better admin tools and things like cloud file storage and sharing, and a free version with just the basics.
This is yet another space where Facebook don’t dominate the market and no doubt this is another attempt to steal Slack’s relatively new dominance in this technology – I have no doubt it will be successful. Find out more here >>
4. Messenger is getting more bloated
Despite owning WhatsApp, Facebook is not giving up on its really powerful chat app – in fact they want it to do even more.
Messenger for Facebook lost my interest when it separated itself from the main Facebook app. I know why they did it but it still doesn’t work for me. They know that Messenger has legs to do so much more and get more integrated into our lives – especially with the amazing success of WeChat in China.
Facebook want us to do more and get much more involved in our chat by doing commercial things like booking tickets, make dinner reservations and ordering an Uber.
Facebook also showed off a Spotify integration, where you can drop songs into group chat and all listen at once.
There is more to come from Messenger and I am sure we will one day not be able to do without it. For now I’m sticking to WhatsApp.
Want to find out more about F8? >>

Written by Oli Yeates


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