Key Product Updates from Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference

Facebook’s F8 developer conference occurred from 4/30-5/1. At the conference, Facebook announced a number of updates to their “surfaces” during the two day event.

Below we will break down the most important updates by product.

Instagram:

  • Ability to shop from creators – Instagram users will be able to shop products via product tags in their favorite influencers’ posts. Businesses who use the checkout feature on Instagram will be able to connect to these tags so, shoppers can shop within the app.
  • A way to fundraise for causes – Instagram users will be able to start fundraising campaigns for non-profits that they are passionate about via a donation sticker in their Instagram stories. Only non-profits, who have signed up to receive donations via Facebook and have a Facebook page that is linked to their Instagram, will be able to accept donations. Facebook will not take a percentage of the funds.
  • A new and improved camera – The camera design will be updated and including an additional feature called Create mode, which allows users to make posts without a photo or video as the background. They will be able to make posts using Instagram’s stickers and effects on a blank background. This will be available for both brands and leisure users.

Messenger:

  • A faster, lighter messenger
  • New Business Solutions for the Messenger platform to make it easier for businesses to generate leads, drive in-store traffic, and provide customer care – These include a lead generation template in Ads Manager (via automated question and answer), an appointment booking interface, and authentication features to allow business to verify customer information before helping them with personalized customer care issues.

Spark AR:

  • The new Spark AR Studio supports both Windows and Mac and includes new features and functionality for creation and collaboration – Advertisers can use it to organically connect their business with their audience by providing effects to help people express themselves. However, businesses should note it is not meant to be a marketing tool or ad product.

WhatsApp:

  • Business Catalog – Users will be able to see a business catalogue within the app when chatting with a business. Note this feature is only available for small businesses.

Facebook:

  • Simpler design, with emphasis on groups feature
  • Improvement of discovery feature for groups
  • Making it easier to share to groups – get recommendations of groups to join within other sections of the app, share posts from Newsfeed to groups. Note, pages will also be able to join/post in groups. This will allow brands to interact more directly with users.
  • New features to support specific communities – Facebook will roll out unique features for groups such as health support groups, buy and sell groups, job groups, and gaming groups.
  • Expansion of Facebook Dating to Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Suriname, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Guyana
  • Meet New Friends – users who opt-in will be able to make friends with people in their communities who have also opted-in to the service.
  • Shipping on the Marketplace – users will be able to ship anywhere in the continental US and pay for their purchases within the Facebook app.
  • New Events tab – users will be able to see what events are happening nearby, discover local establishments, and coordinate plans with friends to attend.

Oculus:

  • VR headsets – Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S – will begin shipping May 21. Oculus Quest, our first all-in-one VR gaming system, lets you pick -up and play almost anywhere without being tethered to a PC. For those with a gaming PC, Rift S gets you into the most immersive content that VR has to offer with ease – Oculus will allow businesses to integrate VR for employee training, collaboration, etc. But note, Oculus for Business is not a marketing platform, and does not provide resources for marketing opportunities.

Portal:

  • Expanding Portal internationally – Portal and Portal+ will be available in Europe beginning in the Fall. Also, users will now be able to use WhatsApp to Portal call other users.
  • Connecting beyond video calling – Users will be able to use voice commands to get updates on birthdays, events and more. Users will also be able to send video messages from Portal to other users. Additionally, due to a collaboration with Amazon, Alexa features are being added to the portal.

Workplace:

  • New Workplace experience – This will make it easier for users to collaborate efficiently. Businesses who are Workplace customers will be able to utilize this redesign.

For a more detailed account of Facebook’s announcements visit here.

Thought Leadership:

For more of Catalyst’s recent thought leadership about Facebook and other social media platforms check out the below resources:

Be sure to also watch our social media webinars:

Want to learn more about Catalyst? Contact us at info@catalystdigital.com

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