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Facebook’s F8 Announcements – Everything You Need to Know

By Nurain Alicharan & Lauren Austin in Industry News on March 27th, 2015

During Facebook’s F8 event, an annual conference for developers held in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg, along with other Facebook team members, announced some new key features. Facebook is continuously updating their platform to improve user experience from both personal and business aspects. The Facebook algorithm update in Q3 of 2014 significantly affected brands' reach, and since then, Facebook has continuously announced changes regarding organic and paid capabilities for brands. We’ve compiled a summary of all of the major announcements from F8, including the Facebook Messenger updates.

social media updates

Businesses on Messenger:

While the Facebook team announced numerous new capabilities, the most news-worthy update was the transition of Facebook Messenger into its own platform with updated capabilities.

The first major update to Messenger is the ability for users to share, install and utilize apps within Messenger, making it similar to a mini app store.

social media updates

Second and more importantly, Messenger will also help Facebook users better connect to brands. Ecommerce sales continue to grow year over year, something that Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook team recognizes. Instead of having brand interaction take place almost exclusively over email, Facebook is putting it directly into the hands (and phones) of customers through Facebook Messenger.

Businesses on Messenger’s goal is to provide an “olden days of shopping” feeling to ecommerce sales by providing users with a more personal connection to the brands they are purchasing from. The F8 2015 audience watched as an Everlane transaction took place almost solely within Facebook Messenger.  After checking out a purchase at Everlane.com and opting to receive updates about the item through Facebook Messenger, the customer received an immediate message thanking them for the purchase and providing more information about the delivery of the item. Customers will be able to watch in real-time the delivery of their purchase from the warehouse right to their doorstep. Having buyer’s remorse? With just a simple message in the Messenger app to the brand, you could edit or cancel your order. Want to get the same shirt in another color? Users will even be able place another order all within the app by talking directly to the brand.

This capability is already in beta with select partners, including Everlane and Zulily, but Facebook representatives anticipate adding more brands in the coming months.

Other notable announcements include:

  • Spherical videos – Facebook will begin supporting spherical videos within the News Feed. The videos will allow users to move around in a 360-degree view, similar to the Google Street View.
  • Merging article and Facebook comments – For example, if you comment on a Huffington Post article on their website, the comment will also appear on their Facebook post. The comments will sync in real-time, thereby increasing Facebook engagement.
  • Embedded Facebook videos – Facebook will now allow users to embed Facebook videos on websites. It will be interesting to see how this update affects YouTube.
  • Improved analytics for apps – Facebook will help developers gain insight into who is using their apps, what they are doing and why they’re dropping off.
  • LiveRail to support mobile display and video ads – Facebook acquired LiveRail, an ad platform showcasing native advertisements within apps, last year. This update will allow for more engaging and more relevant ads, as Facebook taps into its pool of data to show the most relevant ads for each user.
  • Virtual Reality – According to Facebook’s Chief Technology Offcer Mike Schroepfer, Virtual Reality is coming this year, and people will be able to game in Virtual Reality on “something” shipped by Oculus.

While many of these new capabilities are currently in beta, now is the time to start thinking about how you can incorporate these into your social media strategy.

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