At Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg laid out the company’s 10 year roadmap and made multiple new announcements.

From the Live API to chatbots to a whole new VR camera, here's a run down of everything you need to know from Day 1 of the conference. 

Facebook Launches Messenger Platform with Bots

Facebook's AI Messenger Bot

Facebook / F8

  • Allow Businesses to deliver automated customer support, c-commerce guidance and content and interactive experiences through Messenger Chat bots.

  • Could replace 1-800 numbers and call centers.

  • A Messenger bot can provide a richer service than 1-800 menu options, by sending links, showing images and providing detailed descriptions of items, services or features.

  • Live Chat buttons will redirect Web users to Messenger, where a bot or human (or a combination of the two) can take over the conversation.

  • Bots will learn your preferences.

  • Facebook's AI assistant 'M' will also get bots.

  • Available today for developers.

Surround 360

Facebook's Surround 360

Facebook / F8

  • Facebook’s own VR Camera, built from scratch.

  • Open source so anyone can build their own.

  • Includes 14 wide-angle cameras bolted onto the flying saucer, plus one fish-eye camera on top and two more on the bottom.

  • The cameras use what is known as a global shutter instead of a rolling one, which ensures the resulting footage does not display artifacts from the closing of individual shutters.

  • Near zero post-production required: By using genlocking to connect all the lenses, the software can do less work so footage is ready for distribution an order of magnitude faster, in a day rather than weeks.

  • Facebook is marketing Surround 360 as the best 360-degree camera, emphasising it can work "many hours" without overheating.

  • Designed to be portable and durable with aluminium casing and can produce 4K, 6K and 8K footage.

  • Facebook won’t be selling the Surround 360.

  • In the Summer Facebook will put the hardware designs and video stitching algorithms on Github. All the parts can be bought online for $30,000.

Account Kit

Facebook's Account Kit

Facebook / F8

  • Software third-party developers can add to apps that will let users sign in with just an email or a phone number — no passwords necessary.

  • You won't need a Facebook account; you just have to acknowledge a confirmation message (either by email or SMS).

  • Customizable UI: You can adapt the look and feel of Account Kit to match your brand.

  • You'll find two UI options in the Account Kit SDK: the basic UI is an easy solution with simple customization for the header, background, and button. The advanced UI gives you more customization options.

  • Rich analytics: If you use Account Kit alongside App Events from the Facebook SDK, you can get rich, aggregated analytics to help you better understand your audience and their login preferences.

  • Facebook notification backup option: If a person chooses to sign into your app using their phone number, doesn't receive an SMS, but does have a Facebook account, they can choose to receive a Facebook notification to complete the login process.

  • Facebook also introduced a plug-in for web and mobile sites that creates a special type of News Feed story highlighting quotes, and new customizable push/in-app notifications will let developers run push campaigns.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live

Facebook / F8

  • Facebook have released an API for developers who want to plug into Facebook Live, and it also announced the first partners — including Livestream (maker of the Mevo camera), BuzzFeed, Vidpresso and drone-maker DJI.

  • Live will let developers broadcast directly to Facebook from any device, not just smartphones, including high-powered TV cameras or drones.

  • Facebook is putting a Live Tab prominently in its iOS and Android mobile apps.

  • Create new ways to interact with viewers - when combining the Live API with Facebook’s Graph API, you will gain access to your live video’s comments, reactions, and mentions.

Instant Articles

Facebook's Instant Articles

Facebook / F8

  • Using Instant Articles, publishers can show Facebook mobile users a fast-loading and mostly distraction-free view of their posts while still also showing them a limited amount of their own ads and measure pageviews.

  • Like Google’s AMP, an Instant Article is an HTML5 document that uses a couple of specific tags. Publishers can add text and images, but also slideshows, audio captions, maps, video and support for Facebook likes and comments.

  • There are already some plug-ins for WordPress and other CMS systems like Drupal available today that will generate the right Instant Articles feed automatically.

  • For publishers who want to delve even deeper into working with Instant Articles, ShareThis today announced that it now offers A/B testing for Instant Articles headlines.

Profile Expression Kit

Facebook's Expression Kit

Facebook / F8

  • Lets people share videos they make in third-party apps directly into the Facebook profile video flow.

  • The SDK is available now to a select group of beta partners for the iOS versions of their apps: MSQRD, Boomerang from Instagram, lollicam, BeautyPlus, Cinemagraph Pro from Flixel, and Vine.

  • Consumers can now use these apps to create fun and personality-infused profile videos with just a few taps. Developers enjoy attribution within News Feed every time someone uploads a profile video created by their app.

If you are as eager as we are to keep up to date with the conference, you can download the official F8 Apps on both iOS and Andriod to see the full schedule, save sessions, and get important announcements throughout both days of F8.

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