March 25 — What Marketers Need To Know From Today’s Facebook Event

Facebook’s F8 keynote just wrapped up a little bit ago. I’ve gone ahead and outlined some of the highlights as they pertain to marketers.


The Move to Virtual Reality

  • 5 years ago most content shared on FB was text, now it’s video, looking forward FB thinks content like VR/AR is next
  • Spherical videos coming to newsfeed and Oculus
  • FB is experimenting with live spherical video feeds

How this affects marketers

Your virtual reality experiences will soon have a platform that they can be shared and viewed on. The demo showed on stage opens the opportunity for brands to create 360-degree videos that can be natively experienced on the Facebook platforms. With Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus it makes sense that they would be putting this much attention on the future of how users will interact with content. More virtual reality information will come out of F8 tomorrow, with it’s day two keynote being solely dedicated to it.

Messenger

  • Fb Messenger: 600m users a month, add-ins like cash were just the most recent FB adds to make it a better service
  • Today, Messenger is now a developer platform that can be added on to
  • FB Messenger platform will ship with initial add-ins from platforms like Jib-Jab and Giphy
  • Partners like ESPN will have apps that show off animated Gif content that can be added to your messages
  • Page is up with details https://messenger.com/platform

Messenger for Businesses

  • Communicate with businesses right from Messenger. For example: buy a shirt from an online store, and then get an FB message with the receipt, and get shipping notifications, then continue the conversation in Messenger to process a return.
  • Trying to remove the amount of emails we get with online shopping
  • Page is up with details https://messenger.com/business

How this affects marketers

This was probably the biggest announcement of the keynote today. Messenger is getting a proper API so that outside developers can create plug-ins for the app. Early examples show brands like The Weather Channel and ESPN in the Messenger app ecosystem. The ESPN example allowed users to include highlights into chats. I imagine lots of brands are going to be thinking about how they can integrate into Messenger now.

Messenger for Business was also a huge addition to the ecosystem. Certain sites have been invited to the early release, but a sign-up is available on the site to add your brand. The example given on stage was that you can now keep the customer service experience in one system with Messenger; from receipt, to shipping information, to processing a return. Facebook is trying to eliminate the amount of e-commerce emails users get and put them in a more conversational view, rather than transactional.

Both of these announcements created the most opportunities for brands to have new engaging ways to interact with consumers.

Smaller Announcements

Embeddable Facebook Videos

  • Facebook embedded video player. FB videos will now be embeddable on your other sites. About time!

New Analytics for Apps

Live Rail

In Review

Overall, the F8 Keynote left a lot for marketers to wonder. While giving us more tools in Messenger to help build unique user experiences, it seems like it’s left most of the future of the social platform in question. It didn’t answer the big question of how it expects to keep users on Facebook.com and instead seemed to say that they are OK with users diversifying onto it’s family of apps.

One of the biggest surprises was the fact that Instagram was completely left out of the conversation except for a mention at the beginning about being part of the Facebook family. This is intriguing since most users would tell you that Instagram is the app they find the most value out of Facebook’s portfolio.

For marketers, it seems like Facebook.com is becoming an empty vacuum that we are all yelling into, and we are paying large amounts of money to get questionable engagement. This keynote didn’t seem to offer much hope that that’s going to change anytime soon.

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