These are exciting times for technology, with Facebook playing the first fiddle.
Last night at the Facebook F8 Conference some interesting announcements were made, confirming us that emerging technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality), chatbots and VR (Virtual Reality) are here to stay and will shape in new provocative ways the way brands engage their customers.
At last year’s conference, Facebook revealed their 10 years enthusiastic road map, listing the technologies they are betting on.
The Facebook 10-year road map, first revealed in April 2016. Facebook
At that time, we embraced their vision and invested enough efforts to better understand and increase the awareness on trending technologies such as Chatbots, VR/AR.
With their new beta announcements, for marketers like us is nice to observe the steps they make towards their vision. But this is our challenge too, as it is our duty to transform these advancements into actionable tactics for our clients.
So here is what you need to keep a note of from the last announcements:
It’s official. Facebook is now all in for AR/VR
Video collage created by CNET
“We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform!”
This was one of the things Zuckerberg exclaimed most enthusiastically last night. What does this means?
Much like Pokemom Go, the new technology will blend physical and digital, enabling the creation of digital data straight into the real world. Mark offered a great example of how this may work, with this tower defense game that will simply popup from your table.
Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET
The app now creates 3D effects, object recognition and “precise location”, pretty similar to Snapchat’s signature camera filters. They are also building a huge library of camera layers every artist can contribute to.
But this is not all. Soon you will be able to leave digital artifacts in physical locations (like for example leaving your wife notes on the fridge). The imagination can get far with this new technology: blank city walls can be digitally painted or a simple photo of your meal can be garnished with cool 3D effects and typo.
If years ago this sounded like a bet we took upon ourselves, we are now happy to see that all the amount of time we spent working together with our clients on these new technologies will soon be rewarded.
Facebook Spaces will reinvent the social experiences through VR
While AR (augmented reality) is a technology that will be available to anyone with a smartphone, Facebook is also making great progress to create full virtual experiences. At the conference, we have been shown samples of how will VR look on Facebook. You will be able to take selfies with your friends, get realistic previews of your next vacation destination or being given a tour by your friend inside her new apartment.
Video collage created by CNET
Facebook launches Messenger 2.0 and envisions it to be the mother of all stores
Facebook makes great steps towards making the bots easier to be found. They built a discover tab inside the platform that will reveal the best bots and businesses interactions you may find in the region: booking a service, ordering food.
Another great addition is the Chat Extension, which allow the integration of external services such as Spotify, which means you can share your favorite music right inside the Messsenger App. The benefits: no more app switching and easier sharing flows not to mention that music will be played inside Messenger. Kayak, Uber or Apple Music are other integrations that will soon be available and every Facebook developer will be able to build their own chat extensions.
Facebook is also introducing new QR codes that can be added on the banners for sport events or concerts. All you need to do is to scan the codes with your camera, and the Messenger bot will offer you more details.
Although they are only scratching the surface, as the experiences won’t change over night, yesterday we got a glimpse from Zuckerberg and co. of how technology will transform our digital experiences. With each new technology emerging, there are opportunities for brands to reach their customers in new and engaging ways.
Innovative technologies are evolving fast, and so does our confidence and enthusiasm. We are driven more than ever to keep up to date with the latest announcements, to communicate the opportunities to our clients and to work together on adapting to the fast changing digital realm.