Facebook's annual F8 conference is going to kick off at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco between April 12 and 13.
While the social media company has yet to reveal everything it has in store for the viewers at the two-day event, there are already speculations based on grounded guesswork and confirmed products making rounds.
Powered by artificial intelligence and partly human assistance, chatbots are rolling out to Facebook Messenger, delivering automated replies and Structured Messages from businesses on the platform. These replies will typically consist of a title, an image, a URL, a description and a call to action.
It should also be noted that these chat-capable robots could take the place of 1-800 numbers, but plenty of companies out there don't have the technical know-how and resources to develop them. Lucky for them, Facebook is making things easier, as it's going to launch the necessary API tools to build them for developers everywhere.
In the same vein, Facebook has plans to release Live Chat plug-ins, allowing businesses to embed yet another contact button on their websites. Customers will be able to get in touch with a company's representative via Messenger when they click on it – that is, if they prefer not to talk over the phone or through email. Just to be clear on that, a person will be on the other end of the conversation, not a robot.
Facebook will now open up Instant Articles, letting publishers and developers of "all sizes" get in on the deal. In other words, the company will host their content on a platform that's optimized for mobile devices.
Considering how Oculus Rift is under the corporate umbrella, 360-degree videos could get amped up. Demos of how developers can use this kind of video for their own apps and virtual reality are expected at the event.
Meanwhile, Facebook Live has a chance to be mentioned, but since the live streaming service is fairly new to the scene, the company probably won't have much to bring to the table for developers on this front. On top of that, Facebook just added in new features to it a week ago, minimizing the chance of it having a longer spotlight at the conference.
It's no mystery that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is more than open to the idea of virtual reality, not to mention that he surprised viewers with an appearance at the Samsung launch event during the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Perhaps Facebook could showcase what else it has in mind for the technology moving forward.
Monetization For Developers
Facebook wants developers to use the company's tools to build products. To push further on that effort, it's providing them a way to make more money with their creations.
In other words, it's safe to expect updates for the Facebook Audience Network, a move that takes the company's advertising outside the limits of the website.
Free Basics Update
As everyone knows, Facebook trod on a rocky road with its Internet-for-all initiative dubbed Free Basics in India. With that said, there's more or less a chance that it'll give an idea of how to continue with it and what measures it'll take in the foreseeable future.