Facebook just finished hosting it’s not-so-annual F8 developer’s conference, and the announcements that went out of it shaped somewhat the company’s future direction: one in which it plans to adapt its role as a social media mastodon to fit more and more necessities of our day-to-day lives.
Whatever thoughts you might have about this, it’s clear that Zuckerberg’s giant is not just planning on waiting and capitalizing on its already huge success: the plethora of announcements sees it take daring steps towards ideas that might reshape the way we interact through the online each day, but could as well fall flat on their back
The biggest announcement was something that leaked about a week before the conference, with Facebook announcing that their Messenger service will be open to modification by third-party apps; over 40 developers were invited to create such modifications initially, with rumors suggesting that depending on the success of this experiment, the company might decide to leave third-party app development free.
These initial modifications range from the goofy cosmetic ones – such as custom GIF or animation creators, photo effects and much more – to massive functionality changes. One of these has businesses keeping in track with their customers, by creating special channels for customer support. From the customer standpoint, they can elect to get receipts and updates on order status directly through the Messenger.
A number of new functionality changes will also be added to the site; the comment system will get an overhaul so that comments will appear in real-time both on story page and the shared feed, while Facebook videos will now have the possibility of being embedded on different sites.
It’s been more than year since Facebook curiously bought Oculus VR, as the two companies are mostly unrelated in their domains – Oculus is known for developing the Rift, a virtual reality headset which was designed with gaming in mind – and no real direction or progress was announced since then. Nothing really changed in this regard at F8, except for one intriguing presentation – the introduction of 3D spherical videos on the newsfeed.
Beyond looking awkward on flat screens, the fully 3D videos – within which users can change perspective as they wish – were designed to show the potential use of VR headsets on the site and within normal user activities such as Facebook browsing.
Image Source: Firstpost