Market Trends

Highlights of F8 2019

Written by
2 May, 2019

F8 - Facebook's annual developer conference in sunny San Jose, California - is over for another year. The event welcomes thousands of developers, advertisers and agencies from around the world, for two full days of learning and inspiration on the future of Facebook and its family of apps.

Like every year, the team at MakeMeReach were present at F8 and we'd love to share our 4 big takeaways from this year's conference.

Below we've embedded the full replay of the day one keynote, where Mark Zuckerberg outlined all of the key themes below. In addition, you are able to watch all sessions from this year's F8 on demand, on the Facebook Developer website

1. The future is private

Within the first couple of minutes of his keynote, Mark Zuckerberg made clear that the major message of this year's conference was privacy. With the bold statement “I believe that the future is private", Zuckerberg signalled something of a new course for the future of the Facebook family of apps.
 
Image from iOS (33)To outline his vision, he used the analogy of the 'Town Square' versus the 'Living Room'. Facebook traditionally grew and was developed as a 'digital town square', where users could share their lives with the world around them. In a sense, the blue app and Instagram are platforms that have grown with the premise of allowing people to publicly share their lives and broadcast their messages to a large group of connections. That was contrasted with messaging platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp, which have become the 'digital living rooms' of our daily lives. They are places we expect to have more privacy, and more in-depth and personal discussions with the people closest to us.
 
Zuckerberg made clear his vision of the future with the comment: "A private social platform will be even more important in our lives than the ‘town square’ we’ve already built". Users expect privacy to be in-built into the services they use today, and Facebook's major message at this year's F8 is that they are taking that very seriously.
 
As part of his keynote on day one (which you can rewatch above), Zuckerberg outlined six principles for the future of a ‘Private Social Platform’:
 

Private interactions

"You should have simple intimate spaces, where you have complete confidence that what you are saying is private".
 

Encryption

"Your private communications should be secure". End-to-end encryption prevents everyone, even Facebook themselves, from being able to see what users share on messaging platforms, unless someone in the conversation chooses to share it.
 

Reduced permanence

"You shouldn't have to worry that what you say or share is going to come back to hurt you later".
 

Safety

"You should expect we will do everything we can to keep you safe within our services".
 

Interoperability

"You should be able to use any of our apps to reach your friends". Users will soon be able to send messages across Facebook's three different messaging platforms: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Learn more about what interoperability could mean, in this article from engadget.
 

Secure data storage

"You should expect we're not going to store sensitive data in countries where it could be accessed illegally".
 

2. Importance of communities

Image from iOS (35)While Facebook's message was once centered on their services being a place to connect with family and friends, the idea of broader communities was further expanded this year at F8. With a lot of talk about Facebook Groups and their ability to create and foster communication between people with similar interests or backgrounds, Facebook wants to make communities a bigger part of apps like Facebook and Instagram.

3. Commerce and shopping 

At this year's F8 there was a focus on commerce and shopping features, especially with Instagram. With announcements like a new shopping channel in the explore section of Instagram and new functionality for shopping tags, allowing users to buy directly from creators, Instagram is becoming a shopping destination in-and-of itself. Where it was once simply a place where users could get inspired for their fashion purchases elsewhere, Instagram is increasingly becoming an app which caters for the full shopping experience. Learn more about these Instagram announcements in this article from the Verge

4. VR & AR continue to move forward

Following on from the 2018 edition of the conference, Facebook continued to push the message that VR is the "next computing platform". Likening it to the huge changes brought about by the introduction of radio and television, it's clear that Facebook feel VR is set to be the next mass media channel globally. 
 
Image from iOS (34)
Linked to their core message around privacy, Zuckerberg noted in his opening keynote that AR and VR have the potential to create more personal and intimate experiences across their networks. 
 
Focusing on VR, Facebook announced they will be shipping two new hardware products this year - the Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest. The Oculus Quest was described as the "first all in one gaming system for VR", and seems to be a next step in improving on the Oculus Go released at last year's conference. 
 
When it comes to AR, Facebook heralded the launch of their new Spark AR studio, allowing anyone to create AR experiences for Facebook's apps. 
 

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About Joe Sweeney CMO here at MakeMeReach, Joe is a words guy. Joe's a digital marketer who believes in the power of quality content to start great conversations between consumers and brands. He also hosts our weekly Facebook Live!

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