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F8 2017: What To Expect At Facebook’s Developer Conference

18 April 2017, 9:01 am EDT By Des Luna Tech Times
Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference will be held on April 18 in San Jose, California. Expect a myriad of developments from AR to VR tand from false news to Messenger.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

On April 18, Facebook will kick off its F8 Annual Developer Conference. And like the previous iterations, Facebook will showcase different updates on its products done together with its developer and entrepreneur partners.

This time, the conference promises to be bigger - after all, this is F8's 10th anniversary and for sure, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will show how far the world's biggest social media platform has come. Things to expect include updates in virtual reality, augmented reality, false news, and more.

Facebook Messenger

Earlier this month, the number of users of Facebook Messenger has reportedly reached 1.2 billion already. Expect Mark Zuckerberg to mention this during his keynote speech. But more than that, Messenger itself will get significant updates, such as group chatbots. These chatbots are a new feature that can provide news and other updates. For example, basketball fans can add a sports bot in their group thread and this thread will give live scores and news about basketball.

False News, Live Feed Violence

Earlier this month, a man from Cleveland posted on Facebook Live a video of him confessing to murder (he posted a video before showing him shooting a man). Facebook Live brought dilemma to the social network after this feature was used to show violent content, such as the aforementioned murder, and several suicide cases. Expect Facebook to discuss this during F8.

Speaking of content, you can also expect Facebook to tackle fake news further. Several fake news spread via Facebook, especially during the 2016 elections. Since then, Facebook has been proactive against the spread of wrong information, teaching users how to spot false news.

Virtual Reality

Since Facebook bought Oculus in 2014, it has been trying to step up its game in virtual reality development, especially its integration with its social media platforms. Features like 360 videos and 360 photos have already been implemented.

In March, Facebook launched Facebook 360 for Gear VR, a more immersive 360-degree viewing experience using the Facebook 360 app and Samsung Gear VR (powered by Oculus). In fact, VR is so big a tech this year that for the 2017 F8, there will be eight different VR-related sessions.

Augmented Reality

Facebook has been dabbling in another form of reality, the augmented one. Facebook has been working on AR lenses, although it is a far cry from being a reality so expect no real product at F8. AR lenses, like most wearable tech, are part of Zuckerberg's future road map for Facebook. He talked about it during the F8 last year, so expect him to mention the recent developments that his company has taken since then.

Instagram

Instagram made news this month when its Instagram Stories reached 200 million users, surpassing Snapchat, the very app from which it copied most of its features. For this year's F8, expect Facebook to reveal more features for Instagram, such as Camera Platform Effects and the Places Graph.

The two-day Facebook F8 conference will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on April 18 and 19.

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