Facebook s annual two-day developer conference, F8, begins today. Even though Facebook hasn t revealed much about its announcements, a few recent developments and reports have given a good idea about what could it be possibly. The F8 Conference kicks off at 10:30PM IST, and you can watch it live on Facebook. In the meantime, here are some key pointes that we expect Facebook to elaborate on tonight at the F8 conference. Also Read - Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account can get deleted if you do thisAlso Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
Messenger bots are coming! Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
Facebook s Messenger has just gone past 900 million monthly active users and is rapidly catching up with WhatsApp — the world s largest instant messaging app with 1 billion active users. While Facebook-owned WhatsApp has stuck to core messaging elements, Facebook has made attempts to evolve the Messenger as a standalone platform.
From video calling service to business-centric features such as virtual cards and transport services, Messenger has added a variety of features. In fact, last week it announced Snapchat s Snapcode-like scannable profile codes and custom urls for Messenger users. Earlier today it also added Dropbox integration, and support for video chat heads.
Going forward, Facebook is expected to introduce Artificial Intelligence-based chat bots in its Messenger platform. These bots are aimed at helping businesses connect with customers with automated responses and assistance. According to reports, these bots will enable users to shop, book travel and do lots more through the Messenger platform. Facebook has reportedly already tied up with a few partners, which are likely to be revealed at today s event.
Bots are becoming increasingly popular and integral part of messaging platforms. Apps such as Slack, WeChat, Line and even the likes of Microsoft and Telegram are pushing similar kind of features on their respective platforms.
Facebook is likely to leverage its huge user base to edge past its competitors. It will be interesting to see what more innovation could it possibly add to the platform. It s very evident Facebook has managed to find a way to monetize the Messenger platform as well.
Videos are the future
Mark Zuckerberg s belief in videos being the future of Facebook is no longer a hidden fact. He has time and again stressed how the company has been working to expand videos, especially based on Virtual Reality and 360-degree videos. At Mobile World Congress in February, Zuckerberg surprised everyone by sharing stage with Samsung to push its virtual reality offerings.
During the two day Facebook developer conference, we are most likely to see more innovative features and tools for videos. Facebook may stress on developers make more video content leveraging their technology powered by Oculus Rift. Also, we could see more content providers and partners embrace Facebook videos.
It s worth pointing out that Facebook has aggressively thrown its weight on Live videos, which has now rolled out on both Android and iOS platforms. There are slim chances Facebook reveals more Live videos-related features, considering it has just made a few announcements in this regard. There are rumors that Facebook may launch a dedicated Facebook Live application with more integrated tools.
Instant Articles and revamped Free Basics?
Internet-based services especially Google and Facebook have consistently worked on optimizing their platforms for mobile platforms. Facebook ushered in a new trend with Instant Articles by tying up with multiple content providers to deliver more optimized and visually appealing content within Facebook.
Google has already started working with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is similar to Facebook s Instant Article and aims to deliver optimized experience on mobile platforms. With competition inevitably increasing in the near future, Facebook may announce opening its Instant Articles platform for more content providers and give more tools for gauge users engagement.
Facebook has already burnt its hands with Free Basics earlier known as Internet.org. After India, which also happens to be one of the biggest markets, snubbed Free Basics, Zuckerberg had expressed huge disappointment, but did say he would keep working until everyone has access to the Internet.
This could possibly mean anything, and not necessarily another rebranding exercise and a new push for Free Basics. The company could be looking at other alternatives, such as free ‘Express Wi-Fi’ services. There are very slim chances that Zuckerberg will announce anything regarding Free Basics.