If this doesn’t already sound familiar, the TL;DR is that F8 is Facebook’s annual conference where they announce the latest updates and changes to all of their platforms. Somewhat similar to Apple’s WWDC, the 2018 F8 delivered a ton of exciting updates to Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and Oculus - we’ll only be focusing on the social platform side of things, so let’s get into it.
1. Sharing to Facebook & Instagram Stories from other Apps
We’d been hearing about this update for a few days prior to F8, and essentially there will now be a compatibility from apps like Spotify, SoundCloud and GoPro that allows users to directly share to Instagram Stories from the third-party app natively. This is going to be incredible for music discovery, as instead of sharing screenshots of what you’re listening to, you’ll be able to share an attractive image with links to the specific song so your followers can check it out of they like the sound of things.
2. Group Video Chat on Instagram
In a move that replicates SnapChat’s function (surprise, surprise), Instagram will now have the ability to make private group video chats or calls. It appears from the screenshots that it will work for a maximum of four people but Snap allows up to 15 people (how does anyone even get a word in?), so time will tell where Instagram takes it. This will further cement Instagram’s dominance over Snap, which is getting more and more savage by the day.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) FX on Instagram Stories
Taking Snap’s masks to the next level, users (and brands) will now be able to create their own Instagram AR filters with 3D effects and more. If a brand creates a filter and you follow that brand, you’ll have access to it, however if you don’t follow a brand but someone you follow is using their filter, you’ll also have access. It seems a bit convoluted at the moment but it’ll likely be clear once it goes live (it’s currently in closed beta). The potential for brands for something like this is huge, with filters that could go viral and the freedom to create their own filter for users.
4. Updated Explore Tab on Instagram
While the Explore page underwent some recent updates, the newest one is the best yet. Using “augmented AI” (artificial intelligence) with “content classification and curation signals,” the page will now be separated into various content categories so you have more control over what you’re seeing. While this was already true prior to the update, it’s even more beneficial now, so if you want to see more puppies - engage with more posts about puppies, easy. 🐶
5. Messenger Refresh + M Translations
Messenger was once just a feature of the regular Facebook app but it has since become a beast unto its own. Zuckerberg announced that they’ll be simplifying the look and feel of Messenger in this latest iteration, as it has recently become a little bloated with all of the available features. They’ll also be adding an automatic translation feature similar to Facebook posts, which will be very beneficial to further removing language barriers and open communication across the planet for the public and for businesses.
6. Groups Tab on Facebook
Since Facebook have been focusing on connecting people (rather than brands) recently, it only makes sense that they make Groups a priority. There will now be a Groups tab on the bottom row of the Facebook app, allowing users to access their Groups even more easily. Zuck is also proclaimed that later this year they’ll introduce a discover and join feature, which will be interesting.
With over 2 billion people on their network, it’s almost surprising that Facebook waited until now to get into the online dating game. Just the announcement of this new feature alone caused Tinder’s parent group’s share price to drop 22%. FaceDate (we’re not sure if this is the working name or the final one) will allow users to volunteer a private dating profile to be shown to users who are not their friend and match them together via existing profile data. The inbox will be separate to the Messenger inbox so after all the recent privacy scares, Facebook are being super careful to ensure everything is above board. This one could be huge.
8. Facebook Clear History
We can already hear all the Facebook ad marketers cry out in agony (us included). In what is likely a response to Mark’s recent appearance before Congress, Facebook will be allowing users to clear all data collected by sites and apps that use its ads and analytics tools. Zuck compares it to deleting cookies from your browser history and while it’ll be a nightmare for marketers, it’ll reduce the customization of your Facebook experience so it remains to be seen how many users will exercise the option.
Finding it tough to keep up with the ever changing world of social? There's a team for that - let's talk.