Blog: The Future of Facebook According to Its F8 Conference
The future really is that friendly.
Facebook recently has its F8 developer conference and it’s a gold-mine for understanding the future of its platform. F8 is Facebook’s annual developer conference — a multi-day event in which the social network usually announces plans for its key initiatives as well as updates to its products.
In Facebook’s pivot to privacy and encrypted chat, the big winner is actually artificial intelligence.
An Artificial Intelligence Centric Internal Architecture
At Facebook, ML is used to discover patterns in code and build tools that improve developer productivity through code search, code recommendation and automatic bug fixing. Facebook’s ability to automate stuff via machine learning is truly quite innovative.
Think about it, An AI-enabled testing adaptive approach is also deployed to optimize products, infrastructure, machine learning models, marketing campaigns. It’s just plain smart.
While Facebook may lag with the lack of a personal assistant and its Portal device, you can’t fault them for trying. The company announced new AI tools for moderating content and for training facial-recognition software to accurately detect all people on its Portal screens.
While the aspirational element of Facebook’s pivot to what it wishes it was is fascinating, for the product they have a timeline that makes sense. From dating to blockchain, to monetizing Instagram and Whatsapp better, the strategy here is clearly refined and sophisticated.
Facebook Knows what Works in its Flagship App
Among the best features of the flagship Facebook legacy website and app are groups, communities and events. In Facebook’s pivot to encrypted chat it’s going to redesign its core product around Groups and events. This will allow for incredible monetization for the groups. The niche value Facebook groups are really going to thrive from 2019 onwards.
Events are also awesome as they help people actually live better lives, connecting online to offline experiences. This is one of the few features that brings younger Millennials back to Facebook’s legacy platform.
Facebook’s Customer Experience is being Optimized
Facebook will optimize it’s platform for participation, rather that consumption. It wants to treat you as a person rather than just person scrolling a feed. The rise of groups and stories therefore is rather huge. This means turning away from legacy feeds and into more immersive kinds of engagement that are more people friendly and pro-social.
Facebook recently said that it would start downplaying the News Feed, and after the F8 keynote, we know more about what that means. In an update that Zuckerberg calls “FB5,” Facebook will highlight groups and events, creating a prominent groups tab and a personalized feed from the groups you’ve joined — rather than a generalized update feed from your friends.
Facebook has 2 billion reasons to do this.
Facebook Wants to be the Tinder of Encrypted Chat
What can you do with 2 billion data sets and all those connections? Well clearly Facebook is going to take on “dating” pretty hard. This means also the way we make new friends in our more technology driven lives.
This is really a brilliant strategy and will show AI being able to monetize our emotional needs, mental health and social life in a different context that’s much more enhancing, empowering and enabling for us to truly experience Facebook’s original mission statement.
Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will soon offer a dating feature that allows people to browse potential matches at inside groups or events you’re interested in attending. The feature will allow people to message each other using only their first names, and start conversations that are separate from the core Facebook or Messenger app. This is already rolling out to certain pilot countries.
Taking Privacy into our own Hands
The F8 conference also spoke to the usual VR-driven innovation, redesign and simplifying Messenger, among other expected details. One of the more interesting “privacy” measures is clear history. Zuckerberg announced a new feature called Clear History.
Clear History will let you see which external websites send information about you to Facebook — and clear any information learned about you from Facebook’s analytics tools. You’ll also have an option to turn the data-collection feature off on Facebook, as well as third-party sites that use Facebook’s data-collection tools.
Facebook wants to enhance your relationship to your own privacy. It wants to give users more empowerment in controlling access to their data. A deal with the FTC to finalize this is pending through obviously in the works.
WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram
The future of Facebook let’s face it, are its newer apps. For instance WhatsApp is going to get a stablecoin you will be able to trade or give to anyone in the world. This is the ultimate peer-to-peer (P2P) payments play and will help monetize WhatsApp as a business.
65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp every day. Instagram stories are super popular, so Facebook’s features are getting deeper. Encrypted chat on a global level is really scalable through Facebook’s community.
Instagram has a new core feature called Instagram Checkout, that let’s you buy things directly on the app in an E-commerce play. Messenger meanwhile is pivoting more to close friends. So what does this mean?
You can set status messages or share photos with people you like and trust, potentially making it easier to arrange offline hangout sessions. The ability to customize each feature of Facebook is getting smarter.
Dating, blockchain and Facebook Groups & Events upgraded marks a huge shift in how we experience Facebook’s family of apps and it’s actually something we can all be proud of in terms of how technology is evolving to enhance us better and real connectivity, and hack our attention less. This means advertising revenue could go down and new business models for Facebook are in the works. It’s pretty epic and gives us hope to what Facebook can now realistically become.