Earlier last month, we bore witness to Mark Zuckerberg give the keynote speech for Facebook’s F8 2018. This momentous event comes post his senate hearing on the 11th of April and announces a wide range of thrilling features. So what if they sound like something straight out of a Black Mirror episode in light of their recent data leak fiasco?
Progress is progress, no matter what. Facebook sure has contributed a huge deal in the field of digital inventions over the last 5 years. What was once a novelty to us is now a part of daily life! Facebook as a platform isn’t just a means to remember old memories and catch up with friends, it is so much more. It provides us with a business platform, the likes of which has never existed before.
Mark Zuckerberg, in his keynote displays what it means to be an entrepreneur and a human being, flaws included. He wants the world to know that it is his duty to keep going no matter what. Mark emphasized on how it is Facebook’s duty to keep innovating for good. To summarize his speech, I’d say the message is pretty clear. ‘I’m moving on.’
Let’s dive right to the bizz and discuss the highlights mentioned by him and what it means for the rest of us as entrepreneurs.
Yes, dating. Facebook plans to launch a new, private and completely secure (up to speculation) dating feature on profiles marked single. The feature is optional and focuses on building ‘real long term relationships’.
So how is this not a slam dunk on Tinder? Well, if you opt into using the feature, which is a separate profile with just your first name and the pictures that you choose to upload, you get to ‘unlock’ events around you and browse through other singles who have opted for the same. This actually gives you a reason to look forward to going for such a date.
This presents a huge opportunity for brands to go all out with the feature! Just over the top of my mind, I see a brand like Nike holding an event to display their newest product or collection and offering limited edition couple discounts maybe. A dance-off event would probably do the trick.
Privacy is the biggest priority at the FB HQ right now and within good reason. Mark introduced a clear history feature to Facebook, giving users the authority to delete their browsing history from clicks to websites visited. This includes deleting the data access of redundant apps or websites where you may have used Facebook to connect or log in.
Obviously not good for brands that rely on data to advertise. On one hand it slashes data dependence of brands, while on the other it pushes the limits for other options that entrepreneurs can invest their advertising budget into, such as content and influencer marketing.
Group Video Chat and more.
Facebook plans to roll out this feature across all its platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger with slight variations in each. Such as in Instagram, you can minimize the chat to a corner of your feed and continue scrolling and chatting at the same time.
Augmented Reality filters and you can now listen to Spotify songs directly from a person’s story among other features. WhatsApp to introduce stickers along with the group video chat feature.
Simple but effective features, Facebook really wants to implement the big guns of the virtual world on social media. It plans to dominate the virtual world with a seamless integration of AI and AR and it’s time that other brands get with the show.
The Messenger revamp is impressive to say the least. From AI Chat Bots that businesses can use to communicate with customers to AR product integration, Mark means business. Messenger now has a limited but growing translation feature which as of now translates from English to Spanish and can be used across FB Marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace is simply huge and messenger is the primary means of business for most upcoming brands. You can now use messenger as a plugin on your website to communicate with your customers even after they leave your website. This is a game-changer for e-commerce companies.
AI, AR and VR
The biggest and only hardware announcement in the F8 was the Oculus, Facebook’s stand-alone VR headset. It is now available for $200 dollars and has over 1000 integrated apps with 32GB of storage space. This came with a very strategic move.
Mark announced that everyone in attendance would be taking home a free Oculus. It allows people with similar headsets to interact virtually from any distance. Brilliant way to get people engaged as compared to holding a demo. It’s like giving them keys to a candy store and asking them to have their fill. Other announcements include immersive memories and 3D photos that come out during the summer.
This definitely pushes all boundaries of what entrepreneurs would someday define as a product. It begs the question, ‘Is a product or service only limited to its consumption or is it something more?’ Facebook intends to blur the line between consumption and experience that goes beyond reality.
‘The rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet’ Wernher Von Braun designed the nuclear missile with the intention of using it for space travel. ‘You start with something pure. Something exciting. Then come the mistakes, the compromises. We create our own demons.’
Tony Stark after ‘ahem’ Pepper destroyed the Mandarin. My point being, mistakes happen and you have to learn from them to move on. Keeping a positive outlook is the only way forward and we can only hope to be a better version of ourselves every day. That being said, Facebook is a pool of new opportunities and entrepreneurs must remember to swim responsibly.