Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, will take to stage to deliver a 90-minute keynote address at the Facebook F8 conference late on Monday night followed by another next day.
You can live stream the keynote at fbf8.com/watch. You’ll have to log in to the F8 website to “register” for the live stream with either your Facebook credentials or your email address.
However, this year’s F8 announcements are expected to be little different than last year. Here is a short update of what we are expecting from the event:
AR as it is simply known is going to take centerstage this year. You can expect a big focus on AR and its potential to completely change how we use our smartphones when we shop, travel, and play games. “Think Pokemon Go but on steroids,” USA Today reported, adding that Facebook’s AR lenses (glasses or contact lenses) won’t likely be available for a few years, but that the company is working to incorporate the experience into our phones as much as possible and in some unexpected ways for the time being.
Just like AR, virtual reality will also get a lot of attention this year. Since its last developer conference, Facebook has made huge strides in terms of 360 video and virtual reality experiences, now allowing 360 video and photos to be shared on the site. In March, Facebook took things a step further and introduced Facebook 360 for Gear VR.
There are eight different VR-related sessions at this year’s conference, which represents almost 20% of all the breakout sessions. Topics for those sessions include tips on creating compelling narratives in VR, building cross-platform VR content, and adding social components to your VR apps, signaling how important it is for Facebook.
Facebook has been adding features to Instagram slowly but expect some big bang changes in the app. New camera effects platform that may allow you to add photo and video overlays and a Places Graph that enables developers to use Facebook’s location database might be on the offing.
As per the description for the session focusing on the latter: “Power your app with the Places Graph. We’re providing free access to the same place data that powers Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Learn how to use data in about 140M+ places around the world to create location aware app experiences.”
Facebook Messenger service has reached 1.2 billion users. The social network is expected to launch a few new Messenger features during this year’s conference, including new chat bots for group conversations. The bots would likely be less chatty in nature than their predecessors and instead provide information pertinent to the group such as current sports scores or stock prices.
Fake news and other content
Facebook is likely to announce some new ways to speed up the removal of violent and fake content from the platform. Facebook has also come under fire for the role that “fake news” played in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the company has rolled out a number of programs to help users spot and report such stories.
Facebook at Work
Facebook at Work or the Facebook Workplace might finally be launched for free. Originally a paid service, the Slack competitor of sorts now works on a freemium model in which users pay to use certain features.
Last year Facebook acquired Wit.ai, a company that allows developers to create text or voice-based interfaces, among other things. With the proliferation of personal assistants and voice controls over the past year, particularly the prevalence of Amazon’s Alexa, now might be the perfect time for Facebook to show off some new voice features of its own. One place ripe for voice support: Facebook’s personal assistant “M” which was announced, but has yet to become available to most Facebook users.