May 14 Top Three Takeaways From Facebook F8 2018
Facebook has been a trending topic for some not-so-good reasons lately, and many were left wondering if the social media giant had met its downfall. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, was there to quell those concerns at F8 – Facebook’s annual developer’s conference. In addition to addressing user privacy concerns, Zuckerberg & Co. boasted what’s next in technology for Facebook and its suite of programs. In this post, we break down our top takeaways from Facebook F8 2018 and their implications for brands.
Facebook Focuses on Shared Experiences
In its most recent TV spot, Facebook highlights the experiences that “made Facebook good in the first place: friends.” Along this theme, the company is directing its efforts toward bringing what they call “shared experiences” to the forefront of their programs. During his keynote, Mark Zuckerberg previewed two features that aim to deliver on this mission: Watch Party and the new Groups tab.
Using the same technology that brought us Facebook LIVE, the multibillion-user platform is rolling out a feature that will allow those billions of users to actively watch and react to videos together. Ergo, Watch Party. Once rolled out, Group admins will be able to pick any public video on Facebook and create a shared viewing experience around it with other Group members.
The other feature that could have big implications for brands is the new Groups tab. With Facebook placing increasing value on Group interactions, Zuckerberg announced the rollout of a new tab that puts Groups front-and-center in the app. This feature is meant to make communities an integral part of the Facebook experience by helping users navigate to their existing groups and discover new ones more easily. As more people adopt group engagement, it may be beneficial for marketers to test the feasibility of creating and moderating groups for conversations that are already happening around their brands.
Oculus Go Bringing VR To Everyone
When consumer-facing virtual reality made its debut, there was a lot of excitement around how brands could capitalize on this technology. Let’s face it though, VR adoption by the general public has been sluggish. In an attempt to bring VR mainstream, Oculus has developed its own breed of virtual reality with Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset that simplifies the virtual experience for users.
With three flagship experiences – Oculus Rooms, TV, and Venues – users can go virtually anywhere and immerse themselves in unique experiences. Perhaps the most interesting of these three experiences is Oculus Venues, which provides 180-degree VR access to in-person events. The best part? Event access is LIVE, allowing users to rock out at a concert, cheer on their favorite sports team, or kick back for a movie premiere in real-time. This opens the door for brands to deliver exclusive experiences to their consumers and truly bring an event to life in a digital space – a challenge that social media marketers face daily.
Instagram Introduces App Integrations & AR Camera Effects
Stories have become fundamental to social media sharing. During the F8 keynote, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox projected that the number of Stories will surpass regular news feed posts by 2019. In noticing the type of content users post on Stories, Facebook are allowing third-party app integration, making it easier and faster to share Stories content straight from another app. Au revoir, screenshots.
Spotify and GoPro are the first partners with Stories integration capabilities. As this feature becomes available for more apps, it allows for more discovery of brand content across platforms.
What will also add value for brands on Stories is the launch of AR camera effects on Instagram. This gives content creators the power to produce and push branded, custom AR effects. Users will not only be exposed to filters based on the accounts they follow, but they can also “try on” filters straight from their friends’ Stories. With the right mix of creative design and subtle branding, brands have an opportunity to create the perfect recipe for user-generated content.