Here’s all the big developer announcements from Facebook’s F8 conference

Andy Boxall

In App Development, news

April 13, 2016


New products, features, and technologies have all been introduced during Facebook’s F8 2016 developer conference. During the opening keynote, CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the company’s plans for the coming 10 years, and about connecting people all over the world using the Facebook platform, video, and both virtual and augmented reality.

Zuckerberg summed up the plans with the phrase, “Give everyone the power to share anything with anyone,” and then highlighted the ways it intends to make this possible. The newly announced products and services were discussed throughout the 90-minute presentation. You can watch a saved version of the keynote here, but we’ve rounded up the major announcements below, to ensure all the big news is easy to find.

Messenger Platform

facebook bots

Launched in beta form, this expanded version of Messenger adds in a send and receive API, and the ability to build bots. These bots can interact with users, and perform actions such as provide automated content, messages, and notifications. The Send/Receive API supports text and images. Facebook has also launched a Bot Engine for developers to product more complex bots that understand natural language. Bots must be submitted to, and approved for use, by Facebook.

Follow these links to find out more about the Facebook Messenger platform, and bots.

Live API

Building on the Facebook Live platform, the Live API provides developers with new ways to connect to audiences using interactive live video. It can be built into existing broadcast systems, and integrated with video products. New features enabled by the Live API include the potential to stream video from different sources, add Live support to cameras and drones, and access data based on user engagement.

Information on how to integrate Facebook Live using the API can be found here.

Account Kit

account kit

Available as an SDK for the web, Android and iOS, Account Kit simplifies login procedures by using a phone number or email address, rather than a password. It doesn’t need the user to have a Facebook account, and doesn’t share information from a profile if they do. It’s free to use for up to 100,000 SMS confirmations each month, and it’s available in more than 230 countries and regions.

Instructions for how to get started with Account Kit are here.

Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles

All publishers can now access Facebook’s Instant Articles program, after a period of exclusivity ended at the F8 conference. Facebook has partnered with open source publishing tools and analytical platforms, plus added the chance to brand content. According to the social network, Instant Articles have 20% more clicks, 30% more shares, and are 70% less likely to be abandoned due to the speed of delivery.

Learn more about Instant Articles here.

Facebook also launched a Save button that operates around the web, a Quote Sharing button for sharing quotes from apps or the web, and the Profile Expression Kit, where third-party apps can be used to customize profile pictures. Finally, the Surround 360 camera was revealed, for generating immersive content in 3D.

A complete summary of Facebook’s F8 announcements has been published here, and further video content from the conference will be published regularly here.