Facebook F8 2019: What Marketers Need to Know

The first time I attended Facebook F8 was in 2018 because I really wanted to know what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind for the future of Facebook’s family of apps - Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Oculus.

It was at Facebook F8 2018 where Zuckerberg revealed how the company would fight fake news and protect data privacy. He gave us a sneak peak on the new features that would roll out across platforms like Facebook Watch Parties, Instagram Topic Channels, and WhatsApp for Business - just to name a few.

But there were a couple of updates that were announced in last year’s keynote that didn’t come to life such as the Clearing History Tool that would wipe out all of a user’s activity on Facebook if he or she chose to activate it.

And what happened to the Facebook Dating feature?

This is going to be for building real long-term relationships alright - not just hookups.
— Mark Zuckerberg

One reason why these updates probably didn’t roll out is because the company had their hands full with the Federal Trade Commission and had to shell out billions of dollars in legal expenses…

Well now that Facebook F8 2019 is here, I’m back in San Jose to find out what the company has planned and how it impacts marketers like myself. As you may have already heard, Zuckerberg made a few interesting remarks in this year’s Q1 2019 earnings. For example, he mentioned how messages, small groups, and stories are the fastest growing areas of online communication and that consumers want more privacy.

He shared how the company would focus efforts on building a privacy-focused platform that would be built around several principles:

  • Private interactions; you should have simple intimate spaces where you have complete confidence that what you say and do is private.

  • Encryption; your private communication should be secure. An end-to-end encryption prevents anyone, including Facebook, from seeing what you share.

  • Reducing permanence; you shouldn't have to worry about what you share coming back to hurt you later. As a result, Messages or Stories won’t be stored for long periods of time.

  • Safety; you should expect that Facebook will do everything they can to keep you safe on their services within the bounds of an encrypted service.

  • Interoperability; you should be able to use any of Facebook’s apps to reach your friends and you should be able to communicate across their networks easily and securely.

  • Secure data storage; you should expect that Facebook won't store sensitive data in countries where it might be improperly accessed because of weak rule of law or governments that can forcibly get access to your data.

Are you wondering how and when all of this will roll out?

I hope I’ll get that answer during the 2-day conference that starts on Tuesday, April 30th.

I will be live blogging from the event so be sure to refresh this page to get an insider’s perspective on updates that we can expect to roll out.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

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This isn’t just about building some new products. It’s a major shift in how we run as a company. We believe that for the future, people wan’t a privacy-focused platform.
— Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is bringing their privacy-focused vision to life across Facebook’s family of apps through a consultative approach from experts, ensuring that their product is being used for good, and fixing the infrastructure.

Messenger

  1. Completely rewriting Messenger from scratch that is fast, private, and supports interoperability across Facebook’s family of apps.

  2. Users can count on complete end-to-end encryption by default and make calls to their close friends and family on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

  3. Spending time building a modern day social network built around Messaging where users can seamlessly message on any device (PC or Mac) and across platforms. As a business, that means you can message customers across multiple apps to close a sale - this makes scalability a reality.

  4. The second tab will be organized to around the people you care most about in your life. Imagine a digital living room in your pocket where you can share Stories, Statuses, and reminisce on Memories together.

  5. Plug and play solutions for businesses that developers can build on:

    1. Appointment Booking - Businesses can integrate their calendaring system that allows potential buyers to book appointments and adding it to their preferred calendar while also reminding users when an appointments are coming up.

    2. Lead Generation and Qualification - Ads Manager is going to make it easier to attract leads with templates that qualify leads with an automate question and answer flow. Potential leads can be downloaded manually or easily integrated with a CRM, or the Pages inbox.

Asha Sharma, Head of Consumer Product, Messenger

Asha Sharma, Head of Consumer Product, Messenger

WhatsApp

  • Users will be able to share their locations privately to close family and friends as needed.

  • In the next few months, users will be able to view a business’ product catalog within WhatsApp to see which items are available for purchase. With catalogs, businesses can showcase items easily and effortlessly.

  • In addition, WhatsApp will make sending payments as easy as sending a photo through the platform.

Facebook will be shipping out the new FB5 redesign on desktop in the coming months. Notice the emphasis on Groups!

Facebook will be shipping out the new FB5 redesign on desktop in the coming months. Notice the emphasis on Groups!

Facebook FB5

  1. A new redesign of Facebook called FB5 makes communities as central as friends. They’re updating everything from the icon to the app and to the desktop experience!

  2. The idea here is that our friends and family are the core of our social lives and communities is what gives us a sense of purpose and helps us grow in ways that we want.

  3. There are more than 400 million people that are a part of Facebook Groups. Some groups are public but there are so many groups that are private.

  4. Demo of FB5 focused mainly on the Groups tab where users can follow topics that they’re interested in.

  5. The new FB5 app ships out worldwide today with the desktop version rolling out in the next few months.

  6. Groups Tab redesign will give you direct access to groups that you’re already a part of and an opportunity to find new communities that you can join. You will find relevant group recommendations across all of the tabs in the app.

  7. You can share to Groups the same way that you can with friends and families.

  8. Facebook realized that there are different needs for different communities and as a result, they’ve created new features to help any type of community thrive:

    1. Health Support Communities - Ask admins to post

    2. Professional Communities - Apply for jobs and directly message the employer

    3. Gaming Communities - Create sub-threads for every topic that they have in mind, this will be a big help for members to connect

    4. Shopping Communities (Buy and Sell)

      1. Introducing native support for shipping, buyers can directly purchase

      2. Live streaming in communities will allow viewers to buy directly from the stream and help sellers streamline the sales process

    5. Local Communities - Find out what’s happening and get recommendations directly from the Events tab

  9. Shifting the focus from a town square to a digital living room.

  10. Facebook Dating

    1. Find people based on shared interests and groups

    2. Built to be safe, opt-in, private and inclusive

    3. Dating profile will be separate from your personal profile

    4. Feature is already live in five countries and will be rolled out into 14 additional countries with the US later down the line

    5. Launching Secret Crush

  11. Opportunity to meet new friends based on interests

 
Redesign of the Facebook Groups tab in the mobile app. Desktop redesign to ship out in the coming months.

Redesign of the Facebook Groups tab in the mobile app. Desktop redesign to ship out in the coming months.

 

Instagram

  1. Instagram is a place where people are going to connect with close friends and stay based on shared interests. They want to bring you you closer to the people and things you love.

  2. Introducing Create Mode - You can share quizzes, stickers, polls and more without having to start off with a video or photo.

  3. Stories is people first, you choose to see someone’s content by tapping on their profile photo

    1. Stories are ephemeral content and you can get private feedback

    2. People that use the Close Friends feature tend to share more which is leading Instagram to rethink fundamentals

  4. Instagram is exploring private like counts. You can see who liked a post but only the publisher will be able to see the total like count.

  5. Launching a new shopping channel in Explorer with Checkout rolling out international

  6. Leading the fight against online bullying

    1. Explorations to combat bullying on Instagram

      1. Away mode allows you to opt out of Instagram when you’re not interested

      2. Instagram can give you a nudge to back off if you’re bullying

  7. People come to Instagram to connect with close friends and stay to be inspired with shared interests.

  8. Donation Stickers launching today in the US so you can support the organizations that you care about.

  9. Instagram Shopping - Connect Shoppers, Sellers, and Creators three audiences to unlock new potentials such as shopping without ever having to leave the app.

    1. Launching Shopping from Creators: Click on a product that a Creator is wearing and directly purchase from the app if the brand is a part of the app

New Instagram Camera Create Mode!

New Instagram Camera Create Mode!

Portal

  1. More and more of our intimate experiences are happening over video. Facebook wanted to build a product that would make users feel like they’re in the same room.

  2. Portal will be available in Canada this month and in Europe in the fall.

  3. Users can now communicate via Messenger and WhatsApp with complete end-to-end encryption.

  4. New games featuring augmented reality will be rolling out on the platform.

  5. Facebook Live is coming to Portal. You can go live just to your family and close friends.

Spark AR

  1. 1 Billion people have used Spark AR experiences across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal.

  2. Users are using AR to augment their world and engage in new experiences.

Virtual Reality

  1. You can cast your stream to your phone and living room experience.

  2. Vader Immortal is com.ing to Oculus Quest and the Rift platform.

  3. Oculus for Business

    1. Releasing enterprise software designed for large scale deployment

DISCUSS THESE DEVELOPMENTS AND MORE

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