Facebook to focus on augmented reality - announcements from F8 so far

  • Facebook hosted the first day of F8, its annual developer conference yesterday in San Jose, USA. The social network giant made a host of announcements including ambitious augmented reality plans.

    Headlining the keynote, Mark Zuckerberg outlined the social network giant's new augmented platform, which the company hopes will become a cornerstone of its business going forward.

    The new platform will enable developers to expand Facebook’s built-in camera functionality by building new features that will add digital graphics to real world images, such as face-distorting filters, that we have seen become increasingly popular thanks to the app Snapchat. The new platform will have two creative tools, AR Studio and Frame Studio.

    Other major announcements from first day of F8 include:

    Spaces is Facebook's effort at turning virtual reality into a group activity. The new product that is currently in testing will allow users to create a digital avatar that can interact will other avatars in a social digital world.

    Messenger is getting a host of new integrations, including integrations with Spotify. One new Spotify enabled feature will enable participants in a group chat to listen to a song at all at once.

    Head of Messenger, David Marcus also announced plans to make better use of Messenger's built in 100,000 bots, which so far users have failed to interact with. To try and bring users directly into conversation with a bot, Messenger will launch a new dedicated discovery tab and new QR codes.

    Facebook Workplace which launched last year will have more enterprise partners on board to make it easier to share and organise files. The social giant's version of collaboration tool Slack will now have integrations with Microsoft, Box and Salesforce.

    The Workplace platform will also give an organisation's developers the tools to make custom bots specific to its business needs.

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