Each year our team attends Facebook’s Developer Conference and each year we’re blown away by the level of innovation we see in every corner of the exhibition hall.

This year, F8 was all about using technology with safety in mind to bring people together in new ways. If you missed the event, not to worry. Team Taptica was on the floor day 1 and day 2, and we collected all the need-to-know info from the scene in San Jose.

The event was full of hot new tech, valuable conversations on data ethics, and some big surprises for every app developer. But, in the name of brevity, we’ve condensed it down to your top 5 takeaways:


1. Data Privacy & Regulation


On the heels of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data issue, it’s no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg chose this topic to lead his live keynote. Here, he addressed privacy concerns surrounding the 2017 US presidential election, and began to unravel the collateral damage surrounding users’ trust in the network.

His first step in creating a solution? “Clear History.” This new tool will allow users to see what apps and websites share info with Facebook and decide whether they want to delete this information from their accounts.

But, this new level of privacy control may come at a price. In a recent post, Zuckerberg said:

“To be clear, when you clear your cookies in your browser, it can make parts of your experience worse. You may have to sign back in to every website, and you may have to reconfigure things. The same will be true here. Your Facebook won’t be as good while it relearns your preferences. But after going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have.”


2. Messenger Goes High Tech


After the topic of big data, Messenger was undoubtedly the next hottest conversation at the conference. In alignment with the event, Facebook flexed some shiny new AR features, chat bot capabilities, and group video call options for the platform.

Some of the most interesting trial applications for the new technology came from top brands like Sephora and Nike. Sephora, for example, created an innovative AR makeup artist feature available through Messenger, where users could try on a look and buy the corresponding products, right from the platform.

Meanwhile, Nike tested out a scavenger hunt style drop for their all new Kyrie 4 “Red Carpet,” which prompted users to add the Messenger bot and send a secret code to unlock and explore the shoe before completing a purchase.


3. Facebook Dating


Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week was the unveiling of forthcoming plans to roll out an all new dating feature. To use the feature, users will opt in for a dating profile which, while remaining unseen by friends, will only connect them with users they’re not already friends with.

Since most existing dating apps and services already rely on Facebook data for their matchmaking algorithms and profiles, this new feature could be a huge gamechanger in further consolidation within the dating app space.


4. Monetization for Instant Games


Originally launched in November of 2016, Messenger’s Instant Games are finally getting support for in-app purchases on Android and web. While there was no mention of monetization options for iOS, this step could offer a major opportunity for developers to tap into a completely fresh and unsaturated market.

Instant Games are fun, fast to load, non-invasive, and require very little bandwidth to enjoy. This makes them ideal for any audience and international geo – even in developing countries where connection speeds tend to be slower. And, with only about 200 Instant Games in existence, the market is ripe for the next great developer with the next great idea.


5. VR & AR Take Center Stage


Facebook also announced the release of their brand-new Oculus Go standalone VR headset. What sets this model apart, aside from its more affordable price tag, is that it requires no additional equipment or hookups to work. Facebook hopes that eliminating the need for additional gear will make VR more accessible and help widen its overall audience as they continue to seek new applications in everyday life.


If you want to hear more about the event or how you can apply the latest insights in your mobile strategy, drop us a line at info@taptica.com.