What to Expect From Facebook's F8 Developers Conference

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-04-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What to Expect From Facebook's F8 Developers Conference
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    What to Expect From Facebook's F8 Developers Conference

    At its F8 developer event, expect Facebook to talk up a number of its significant efforts, including its Messenger chatting app, video live-streaming and AI.
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    Facebook Needs to Talk Worldwide Growth
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    Facebook Needs to Talk Worldwide Growth

    Facebook might be the world's largest social network with more than 1.4 billion users, but the company is competing with Google and Apple for skilled developers. So Facebook must talk about its growth over the last year and also make clear that it's expanding rapidly into fast-growing emerging markets that developers find attractive. Look for Facebook to do just that as it attempts to attract more developers.
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    Facebook Needs Oculus Rift Developers
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    Facebook Needs Oculus Rift Developers

    As the owner of the recently launched Oculus Rift, Facebook realizes that to be successful, the virtual-reality headset requires high-quality software. Expect Zuckerberg and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey to talk about Rift's initial reception in the market and to make a case for developers to create games and other content for the headset. Without effective applications and content, Rift can't succeed.
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    Chatbots Will Be All the Rage
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    Chatbots Will Be All the Rage

    Like seemingly every other digital company, Facebook is focused on delivering chatbots, but why? Zuckerberg will need to explain why chatbots are coming to Facebook Messenger and how the technology, which allows users to chat with what amounts to a smart computer, could be a way for developers to attract more people to their services.
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    How Facebook Messenger Is Growing Up
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    How Facebook Messenger Is Growing Up

    Facebook Messenger, with its nearly 1 billion users, is become increasingly popular. And expect Facebook to highlight that. Expect the company to also discuss the benefits of Messenger to the corporate world—for things like customer service—and why Facebook is opening new APIs for developers to create new ways to connect with the social network's chatting users.
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    Facebook Plays the WhatsApp Encryption Game
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    Facebook Plays the WhatsApp Encryption Game

    In addition to Messenger, Facebook owns and operates WhatsApp. The big talk at the show will likely be WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption. Most analysts believe Zuckerberg will put a stake in the ground, saying that he believes in digital privacy and will do whatever it takes to protect the privacy of WhatsApp users' data. In other words, Apple has an ally.
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    Video Live-Streaming Will Be Prominent
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    Video Live-Streaming Will Be Prominent

    Live video has become the next frontier for Facebook, so it'll likely come up during the keynote. Expect to hear how Facebook plans to open some APIs for developers to tap into its video live-streaming platform. In addition, as Facebook increasingly becomes a video destination, the company is expected to unveil new features. One of those will be 360-degree video support. Facebook has already said it will hold two sessions on how developers can use virtual reality and 360-degree video in their Facebook apps, so talking about it during the keynote should be guaranteed.
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    How Will Facebook Attract More Media Outlets?
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    How Will Facebook Attract More Media Outlets?

    The time has come for Facebook to fully take on Google and Apple in the media business with its Instant Articles. While the service has been available to some media outlets, Facebook is expected to offer it to any publisher at F8. The race for a person's news consumption will officially be on at F8.
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    Facebook Wants Ever More Ad Revenue
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    Facebook Wants Ever More Ad Revenue

    Advertising revenue will be a hot topic during the keynote. While Facebook itself is growing its ad revenue, it still needs to improve its offerings to marketers and developers that want to promote their services on Facebook platforms. Facebook is taking meaningful advertising dollars away from major companies, including Google and Yahoo, so it only makes sense it'll focus on how it's improving its advertising platforms in the next year.
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    Facebook Will Need to Talk About Free Basics
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    Facebook Will Need to Talk About Free Basics

    Facebook has no choice but to talk about Free Basics, the program it developed to get Internet access to emerging markets. Facebook's service has been kicked out of some countries—most notably India—and it appears to have no simple response to claims that it violates net neutrality. Expect Zuckerberg to talk about Free Basics and why it's critical to getting billions of more people online.
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    Don't Forget About Facebook's M Artificial Intelligence
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    Don't Forget About Facebook's M Artificial Intelligence

    While it hasn't gotten much attention in recent months, Facebook is working on a compelling alternative to services like Apple Siri and Microsoft's Cortana. It's possible that Facebook will talk about its M project and how it can deliver artificial intelligence experiences to users.
 

Facebook's annual F8 developers conference convenes April 12, and the main keynotes will be closely watched for announcements about new features or services being added to the world's largest social network. In that respect, it has become much like other developer events, including Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and Google I/O, which provide opportunities for these companies to enlist developer support for major new business initiatives. While Facebook has remained silent on what it will discuss at F8, that hasn't prevented industry analysts and news pundits from predicting what CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives will talk about. Those sources are predicting the F8 keynote will touch on several significant Facebook efforts, including its Messenger chatting application, video live-streaming and even artificial intelligence. It's also a good bet that Facebook will talk about the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset. Take a look at this slide show to read more about what Facebook likely has planned when the F8 conference opens April 12 in San Francisco.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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