Facebook has kickstarted F8, its annual developer conference. On Day 1, the social network made a plethora of announcements. Some of these include much talked about Facebook as a platform, Spherical video, LiveRail, analytics for apps and Internet of things. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Messenger as platform
It is already known that Facebook plans to announce some big changes for its Messenger app. Facebook is now offering Messenger as a platform for developers. This means, third party developers can now work on content and information for the Messenger. It will allow third-party apps to access the company’s Messenger service and plans tie-ups with about 20 different outfits.
Interestingly, Facebook has introduced support for 3D, spherical video in the newsfeed. Users will be able to pan around the video with their mouse cursor. With this move, Facebook brings its VR abilities to the newsfeed. While the spherical video doesn’t really make much difference on your flat screen monitor, watching it using the VR headset will ensure a 360 degrees spherical video feel as if you are right there.
In mid-2014, Facebook acquired video advertising firm LiveRail to make video ads a bigger part of its business, and now the company has started implementing it. Basically, LiveRail fills ad space within apps and sites to the highest bidder and now bring two big changes to Facebook. Firstly, it will support mobile display ads along with video. Secondly, it can now tap into Facebook data and display an appropriate ad.
Analytics for apps
Just like its advertisers, Facebook now plans to bring details about app usage to developers. The social network will now allow developers to find out who is using their apps, whether most of their games are played by a male or female, are these gamers teenagers and so on. The analytics will also show who is spending money on games. The new analytics platform is aimed at simplifying all this and more for app developers.
Finally, just like Google and Apple, Facebook wants to talk about its bit for Internet of Things. The company has also announced Parse for ‘Internet Of Things’ that is a set of SDKs which will help IoT projects.