8 Takeaways From Day One of Facebook's F8 Conference
With so many tech conferences and conventions out there, it's safe to say that I have a few on my bucket list. Since SXSW has been checked off four times, I need to maneuver my way to CES, Adobe Summit, Apple's WWDC, and Facebook's F8 as the four always appear to be so intriguing.
As F8 2018 kicked off yesterday in San Jose, I spent a good portion of the day trying to keep up with all of the breaking tech and social media news from the grand event. More eyes were on this year's conference than ever before due to Facebook's many recent headlines regarding user data, privacy, and the looming GDPR deadline. The date of this year's conference was timely and, in my opinion, total Kris Jenner-style because there's no better way to tell your story than on your own stage.
If you didn't have the chance to check out the news from F8, I'm here to plug you into eight points that made me perk up.
Facebook wants to play matchmaker
Facebook has always been one of the easiest ways to meet people from school and events, so it only makes sense that the platform will now compete with Tinder and Bumble to help people find their soulmates.
The new dating feature will be opt-in only and will match users with people they're not friends with on Facebook. But user beware: There's a chance you can be matched with people who show they're in a relationship or married on Facebook. The company's reasoning is due to not discriminating against open relationships.
And according to TechCrunch, "Match Group’s stock plummeted by more than 17 percent as soon as [this] news was announced," so this is big.
Surprise! People are actually using Facebook Stories
I left Snapchat as soon as Instagram Stories debuted. I simply didn't see the point in posting content to such a secretive platform when I was getting three times the views on Instagram. It was a no brainer.
With that being said, I was totally shocked when I learned that people are *actually* using Facebook Stories and that I may now have to add it to my content strategy. Even though I've never watched a Facebook Story, there are obviously numerous audiences that are. If you're a marketer, take note of this trend on Facebook, and on other platforms, so that you and your brand are not being left behind.
Yes, Facebook is trying to get better with security and privacy
The first post I saw regarding F8 was one about data protection and how Facebook plans to hire thousands of people in order to make this happen. This is due to all of the news surrounding the platform and Cambridge Analytica.
The big privacy story from F8 is that Facebook users will soon be able to clear their browsing history as quickly as they can erase their history on Chrome or Safari. The new "Clear History" feature can also wipe away all data that Facebook has collected from ads and websites and users can opt out to prevent collection in the future. Talk about a fresh start.
Instagram is launching group video chat
The days of needing Skype or Snapchat to make a group video call are close to over thanks to Instagram. This shouldn't be a surprise to many since users can already request to "co-host" a friend's Instagram Live stream.
No word on how many people can be on an Instagram video chat at once, but it could be a max of 15 just like an Instagram Direct chat. Fun times ahead.
A new Instagram Explore tab is on the way
The biggest rabbit hole I know outside of YouTube and Target is getting a total revamp. The Instagram Explore page will soon feature categories to help users find what they're looking for (or what they're not looking for) even faster.
The top row of the new Explore page features categories that are popular on Instagram. Once you click into a category, users will be able to see a set of hashtags that are related to the topic. This will be very helpful for those who take advantage of using their max of 30 hashtags on each Instagram post.
Facebook Messenger gets a redesign
The process of going through an app redesign should keep all designers on their toes due to the extremely negative feedback that came after Snapchat gave their app a facelift. However, the Facebook team is confident that an updated look and feel will keep Messenger at the top of the free social networking apps page in iTunes.
Other than a new look, the app will also have AR camera effects, easier language translation, and a dark mode that I'm all for.
There's even more augmented reality headed our way
I've never been wild about Snapchat or Instagram filters, but since so many people are, Facebook is giving us even more.
Do not add a flower crown filter to my face.— Alexis Davis (@yeahitslex) September 3, 2016
Instagram users will now see user-designed filters and even be able to play around with filters that are seen in the Stories of others.
Cross-promotion and sharing are about to take off
It will soon be unnecessary to take a screenshot of the track you're listening to on Spotify and add the photo to your Instagram Story manually. Thanks to partnerships with apps like Musically, SoundCloud, and GoPro, users will be able to share content to their Facebook and Instagram Stories with just a few simple steps. This decision makes sense for Instagram since they recently revealed a feature that allows users to natively embed the Instagram Stories of others for 24 hours if they are tagged in that story.
I'm excited to see the other apps Facebook and Instagram partner with down the line. My hopes are for Squarespace (hello, blog distribution is hard!), and Twitter so people can cross-promote funny content, but I know the latter certainly won't be the case for obvious reasons. A girl can dream though!
What's your favorite takeaway from F8? What are you most looking forward to with Facebook and Instagram? Let me know in the comments below!