I look forward to Facebook’s F8 developer conference each year. It’s a great opportunity to see how Facebook is prioritizing and adjusting their 10 year road map based on shifting consumer behavior and new advancements in technology.
What was fascinating about this years conference is the rate they are accelerating the convergence of technologies that connect us, immerse us into new virtual worlds and advancing innovation well beyond what we would expect from a company that identifies itself as social first.
Facebook wants to redefine how we think about reality and the not too distant future when all reality is augmented and virtual. The following provides analysis across the consumer centric filters of connection, cognition and immersion.
- Connection – Trends that reimagine how we connect, enable and empower consumers
- Cognition – Trends where machine based intelligence will disrupt and redefine data assets and how we work
- Immersion – Trends that align technology and presence to evoke emotion, entertain and power commerce
Here are few examples of the 15 territories analyzed starting with:
The Camera as the First Augmented Reality Platform – Facebook understands that in order to truly create scale the key is to empower consumers, developers and other 3rd parties to create experiences on their behalf. Consumer empowerment is powerful and will accelerate adoption and ultimately influence consumer behavior towards a new normal.
The democratization of augmented reality (AR) powered by advancing artificial intelligence (AI), has the potential to redefine advertisers approaches to content marketing, making it less about content and more about enabling experiences through compelling and contextually relevant effects.
Frames & AR Studio – Two sets of tools comprise the new Camera Effects Platform. The Frames Studio allows for quick deployment and creation of effects that can enhance an image, video or even Facebook live stream. This platform allows artists, creators and brands to create frames that can be targeted using Facebook targeting abilities for distribution.
The AR Studio is where it’s possible to create light weight AR effects that can developed and enhanced with elements such as real-time data to build highly contextual AR experiences. This is where brand marketers have an opportunity to align data + experiences.
Gaming & eSports
Convergence of gaming & video has been a massive trend over the past 24 months. 2B people play games each month. The rise and consumption of game streams now consists of 665M people watching people play games.
On Facebook people watch, play & create. Facebook’s gaming video product supports eSports (14-31% of live gaming consumption), developers, gaming entertainers and social connection for consumers of game stream content.
Gaming content is digitally native baked in real time interactivity. With gaming video the audience is more than a spectator. They participate in the experience via comments and getting involved in the gameplay.
Messenger 2.0 – 2016 was considered the year of the bot. Primarily fueled by Facebook’s Messenger beta which accelerated the development of a bot ecosystem to further enhance the Messenger experience.
In 2017, Facebook is positioning Messenger as Messenger 2.0 with a sharp focus on integration of other services via chat extensions giving 3rd party bots the ability to seamlessly connect other services such as Spotify or Apple Music.
Facebook is also keen on driving discovery among the 100,000 bots now on the platform via the new discover tab.
Data Design & Artificial Intelligence
Facebook is focused on leveraging multiple facets of Artificial Intelligence to power their products and accelerate 3rd party ecosystems.
Computer vision, natural language processing, and algorithms drive content discovery and their newly launched AR experiences. AI is now a foundational element to Facebook’s go-to-market strategy.
Facebook’s ultimate goal is to develop intelligent systems that go beyond computer vision and truly understand the world. This will then converge with their vision of an AR driven future to create a unified experience.
The Rise of Proxy’s – In the very near future we as consumers will have intelligent systems serving the role of a proxy. Facebook is betting on M to first serve as a virtual assistant that will eventually become a predictive service that is the foundation for their virtual computing future.
M will integrate into multiple facets of a users life from sharing location to recommendations. In the near future M can become the connection between a recommendation and AR object recognition action.
Virtual Reality & Facebook Spaces – Facebook officially launched Spaces for Oculus. This was first teased at F8 last year and the experience has definitely advanced from the grainy avatars from a year ago.
Facebook took research and learnings from Oculus Rooms via the Samsung Gear and refined an experience that lets your virtual avatar interact with Facebook content and friends in a virtual environment.
From virtual selfies to watching 360 video. It’s very clear to see that Facebook is focused on creating a new for of social interaction via a virtual environment.
The Future – Facebook took the first major step in achieving their 10 year goal of fully immersive augmented reality by launching the camera as their first augmented reality platform.
On day 2 of the conference, they outlined in detail how they view transparent glasses (deemed more socially appropriate) or some equivalent that is paired with a general artificial intelligence system to enhance our daily lives.
This includes improving memory, cognition, recognition and redefining how we interact with the physical world and collaborate with one another.
Here is the full recap consisting of all 15 territories analyzed plus implications for brand marketers to consider based on the trend identified.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360