At 10.30PM IST today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take the stage at F8, company’s annual developer conference in California. The F8 2019 is being held at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on April 30 and May 1. The F8 comes just weeks after Facebook announced its quarter results where it saw growth in ad revenue and announced plans to set $3 billion aside for a potential fine from US FTC over privacy violations. At the two-day annual developer conference, Facebook executives are expected to outline latest developments in its efforts in areas like messaging, virtual reality and blockchain.
Facebook F8 2019: How to watch the livestream
Facebook‘s annual developer conference is not an event known for hardware announcement but it is often the indicator for where the social media giant is going in terms of product decisions. While Facebook’s data privacy practice remains a cause for concern, everyone would be watching for Zuckerberg to detail how he plans to put private messaging at the center of Facebook revamp going forward. Those who could not make it to California can watch the livestream by visiting this link: https://www.f8.com/watch.
Facebook F8 2019: What to expect
The F8 2018 last year was held on the backdrop of revelations that Cambridge Analytica scrapped information of over 87 million users to support political campaigns. This year, the developer conference will be overshadowed by the exit of key executives like Chris Cox, Head of Product and Chris Daniels, VP of WhatsApp. With confidence on Zuckerberg’s leadership along with Sheryl Sandberg having reached an all-time low, the most important thing to watch would be how Zuckerberg reclaims his pedigree among developers.
The second major thing would be privacy and the entire keynote, scheduled to start at 10AM PT (or 10.30AM IST) and continue till 11.30AM PT (or 12:00AM IST on May 1, 2019), might focus on this aspect. In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, Zuckerberg has openly called for regulations into some of the business structure and we could see Zuck once again highlighting that the company “can do better” in this regard. Facebook has successfully transformed from a desktop-centric application to mobile dominant service but the future seems dominated by ephemeral messaging, where privacy and encryption become predominantly important.
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At F8 2019, Zuckerberg could tie privacy, encryption and AI into a single thread and detail how Facebook will implement it across its portfolio of services. In January, Zuckerberg announced plans to combine messaging across Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger and enable end-to-end encrypted messaging across platforms. The question being how Facebook interconnect user profiles across all these services. WhatsApp, the social messaging service acquired for $19 billion, has been used to spread disinformation and cause communal violence and Facebook will need to answer how it can limit such an instance if all the messaging platforms are merged together.
In its 10-year roadmap, Facebook has always portrayed Oculus and its virtual reality devices and at F8 this year, we could see the conversation shift from VR to AR finally. At F8 last year, Facebook introduced Oculus Go, a standalone mobile VR headset and we could see its successor this year. Oculus could also use the platform to share details about its standalone Quest headset and Rift S, which was detailed last month. Analysts and tech enthusiasts will be looking for Zuckerberg to talk about Augmented Reality. Microsoft and Magic Leap backed by Google have already shown the potential of a AR goggle and Facebook could put social in the mix with its own AR eyewear.