Recap: Facebook’s 2018 F8 Conference

Facebook F8 Conference

Facebook’s F8 annual conference showcases the latest technologies and gives developers a glimpse of what’s to come. This year’s conference took place in San Jose, CA, May 1 & 2. Check out Nina Hale’s handpicked highlights.

Overview: Facebook’s F8 Conference 2018

In recent years, Facebook’s announcements during the annual F8 conference have been unexpected, flashy, and sometimes futuristic. This year is a little bit different. While augmented reality made its annual appearance and a new dating app was announced, it was also crucial that the social network addressed data privacy and corporate social responsibility. Here are a few things that stood out.

first things first – let’s talk about privacy

Facebook’s F8 conference took place just weeks after CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress discussing the Cambridge Analytical scandal, so it’s no surprise that talk about privacy came up on day one. Zuckerberg unveiled a new feature called clear history, which would let users see the information that different apps and websites have on them and then clear it.

okay, now the fun stuff – facebook launches new dating app

Step aside, Tinder. In January, Facebook announced an algorithm update to prioritize meaningful interactions between friends and family, and what’s more meaningful than introducing you to your significant other? Facebook’s new dating feature will use Facebook profiles to match users with potential dating partners – but only if they’re not already friends.

instagram hashtags improve photo recognition

Facebook’s use of Instagram hashtags is helping to train AI systems in identifying subjects in photos. Usually, AI systems are trained using carefully labeled data, i.e., letting the system know that “this photo has a dog in it, this photo has a firetruck in it, etc.” Now, your friend who uses way too many hashtags is letting the system know “this is a cupcake” and “this is Starbucks coffee” – which, in turn, is making the AI system smarter #winning.

Facebook F8 Conference

augmented reality blew everyone’s mind (Again)

Augmented reality (AR) was a hot topic last year, and this year was no different. Here are the highlights:

  • Facebook announced a new version of AR studio, designed to make it easier for artists and creators to make more realistic AR experiences
    • Think: Snapchat filters
  • Facebook is adding AR features to the Messenger chat app in hopes of becoming your go-to shopping platform
    • Think: A closer look at those shoes you’ve been eyeing or a sneak peek into how that blush will look on your cheeks
  • Starting this summer, you’ll have the ability to upload 3D photos to Facebook, as part of a larger plan to create 3D spaces and experiences from personal photos
    • Think: A VR room that you could enter with friends and family where photos hang in space and memories can be revisited

socially responsible Instagram fights bullying

In the last few years, technology companies have been challenged to uphold a level of social responsibility that keeps users safe. Starting on May 1, Instagram rolled out a “bullying filter” to hide comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s wellbeing or health.

artificial intelligence takes down abusive posts

Mark Zuckerberg opened up about how Facebook is using artificial intelligence (AI) to fight abuse on the platform. Specifically, AI tools help in seven different areas: nudity, graphic violence, terrorist content, hate speech, spam, fake accounts, and suicide prevention. Nudity and graphic violence are easier to detect through computer vision, while hate speech is harder to catch because the intent is not always clear to a computer. Facebook knows they have a lot of work ahead; however, the end goal is to get to the harmful content before anyone can see it.

anything else worth noting?

  • Facebook Marketplace is growing and is now being used in 70 countries by 800 million people monthly.
  • Instagram partnered with Spotify and GoPro to create ways to share content beyond just photos and videos.
  • Facebook Messenger added a new language translation feature to the chat app.

The key takeaways of F8 Conference 2018

PRIVACY.

Privacy controls are on the rise. The new “Clear History” tool will give users the ability to clear their browsing history on Facebook, which means marketers wouldn’t have access to their likes, interests, and website activities. This tool is unlikely to have a significant impact on marketers unless a large portion of the population adopts it. But if it does catch on, this update could affect the size of audiences available to target on Facebook. Expect more privacy controls like this to take shape in the near future.

AUGMENTED REALITY.

Augmented reality is another trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. AR is the closest way for brands to put a product into someone’s hand without actually doing it, so it’s easy to see why Facebook and other tech companies continue to come up with new ways for consumers to do just that (think testing out how a couch would look in their living room or how a pair of glasses would look with their new haircut). If your consumers would benefit from a digital, 3D view of your product, augmented reality might be the perfect marketing solution. Expect to hear more and more about AR as it becomes increasingly sophisticated and prominent in the marketing landscape.

MESSENGER.

Facebook is adding more tools to Facebook Messenger, which will make it easier for small businesses to communicate with customers. Automatic language translations will help businesses communicate with customers internationally, and AI-powered chatbots can help compose emails or respond to customer support messages. These updates are all part of an initiative to make Facebook Messenger your go-to shopping app.

INFORMATION SOURCE: CNET

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