Five things for marketers to take away from Facebook’s F8 conference

Facebook will be introducing new functionalities to its platforms in the coming months, including virtual reality, augmented reality, new privacy controls and dating.

In Facebook’s most contentious year yet, the company launched its annual F8 conference this week in San Jose, California, offering users and developers new tools to interact with its network of social apps.

Facebook made myriad announcements involving its own platform and owned apps Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus, several of which will bring new opportunities to the marketing space:

  1. Sharing to Stories – allowing users to post to their Facebook and Instagram Stories from external platforms. Brands – Spotify being Facebook’s example – will soon be able to embed a ‘share’ button that allows users to capture, edit and post directly to Stories without leaving the site itself.
  2. Oculus Go – since its acquisition of Oculus in 2014, Facebook has been positioning itself as the first to integrate virtual reality (VR) into everyday social networking. Oculus Events will allow users to virtually attend concerts, sports events, comedy nights and cinemas with up to four interactive concurrent users.
  3. AR Camera Effects – users will soon be able to capture 3D images using their smartphone camera to share on Facebook. 3D objects from the News Feed can then be imported into Facebook’s new Camera AR (augmented reality) experience, allowing users to interact with the virtual object in the context of their own surroundings. Additionally, Facebook is introducing the AR Studio to developers, allowing brands to design custom interactive camera experiences – such as face filters and world effects – to distribute over Instagram.
  4. More policy updates – following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook shut down third-party data targeting for advertisers, introduced rigorous updates to its platform policies and released its content review guidelines for the first time. In its continued attempt to restore trust within the developer community, Facebook is reopening its app-review process with a new focus on security and transparency. Facebook will also be introducing a ‘Clear History’ option, allowing users to review and delete information on their profiles from websites and apps using Facebook’s targeted advertising service.
  5. Dating – Techcrunch reports that Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, took a 22% stock dive yesterday; with dominant players fading, Facebook may be looking to shift its influence into the online dating sphere. Users will be able to create an new ‘dating profile’ that Facebook says will be separate to the normal profile – recommending potential romantic matches through mutual friends, likes, pages and events.

The firm that perpetrated Facebook’s information privacy scandal earlier this year, Cambridge Analytica (CA), declared bankruptcy this morning. In a statement, CA continued to claim that its data harvesting on Facebook was completely legal and common practice within the online advertising community. The firm said it had been “vilified” after clients began to leave and legal fees mounted in defence of its involvement with several political elections.

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 3 May 2018
Josh Loh is a newswriter and editorial assistant at MarketingMag.com.au