Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday kicked off the company’s annual F8 developer conference with the exciting announcements of new tools and Instagram, WhatsApp innovations.
The world’s largest social network stated that year’s F8 announcements primarily focus on technologies that empower developers and businesses to build and grow on Facebook’s platforms.
The company CEO remarked, “This year, we are refocusing F8 on developers. Some of the most important services in the world started when someone looked at a current issue and just found a better way to build. And I’m optimistic that some of the next generations of services are going to start right here with you.”
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference.
The company announced that the Messenger API for Instagram is now generally available to all developers on the business messaging front.
Ankur Prasad, Facebook’s director of product marketing for business messaging, said, “opening up the Messenger API for Instagram would enable key automation tools on Instagram for the first time, accessible only with the API. The services powered by the API would also help improve the relationship between customers and businesses. For example, developers can build tools that integrate Instagram messaging with order management systems to let live agents instantly look up a person’s order history.”
Moreover, Facebook announced new innovations to the WhatsApp Business API to make it easier for businesses to get started using the tool. With the introduction of new updates, Facebook has reduced the API onboarding process from weeks to five minutes, the company said.
Furthermore, Facebook has announced new WhatsApp messaging features to give people a simpler way to select when speaking with a business’s chatbot on WhatsApp.
Facebook updates its Facebook Business Suite by adding third-party tools created by developers via a new Business Apps section.
“We believe the tools you build are fundamental for the success of businesses, and we’re excited to help you integrate and scale your offerings by bringing them to the hands of millions of businesses on Facebook Business Suite,” Facebook said.
Facebook announced new capabilities for Spark AR, its flagship AR creation software. The company is creating a new AR API to make it easier for developers to create augmented reality effects for group calls via its new Multipeer API.
The API would be effective for developers to build AR effects that “deliver a coordinated experience across multiple call participants.”
Facebook said that its SparkAR platform has 600,000 creators in 190 countries, with 2 million AR filters and effects created till now.
Artificial intelligence (AI) And Machine Learning (ML)
Back in 2016, Facebook co-developed the deep learning framework PyTorch. The company announced that moving forward; it will make PyTorch the default framework to build all of its AI and machine learning models.
The company explained in the blog post, “PyTorch not only makes our research and engineering work more effective, collaborative, and efficient, it also allows us to share our work as open-source PyTorch libraries and learn from the advances made by the thousands of PyTorch developers all over the world.”
Facebook said its messaging app WhatsApp would now support different messages, such as letting businesses send alerts to users when an item is back in stock.
Along with this, Facebook plans to launch a new feature called Login Connect with Messenger for people to opt into messaging with businesses. The tool will enable users to opt into messaging with businesses directly from the Facebook Login flow. Facebook said that the new feature is still in the testing phase and will be made available shortly.
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