3 Things I’m Excited About from F8

Published on Apr 21st, 2016

by Tania Yuki

The Next Wave of Video: Live, 360

While audiences still matter, social video of the future will be less about optimizing for discovery and more about creating space for human connection and community. Rather than being the discussion at the watercooler the next day, the video experience is the watercooler—the proverbial campfire around which audiences amass.

This communal experience is what live video is all about. This year’s F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, put a particular emphasis on the possibilities for immersion, community and entertainment inherent in the live experience. Some of the recent big live broadcasts are great examples of what’s possible, like a recent experiment from BuzzFeed .

Data must drive content creation here. Not the kind of data in charts and graphs of old, but the possibilities for real-time, situation-based feedback that both informs what should be streamed next, as well as what worked in the current live broadcast. Content creators must learn from this, and much of it will be drawn from a set of skills and tools that we are still currently inventing as a community. Roles like “social video producer” and “live video writer” will evolve to meet this need as audiences look to stay engaged over time.

For 360 video, “place” will no longer define what we experience. Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Director of Product, outlined three opportunities for 360 video:

Transport people to locations across the world.

Allow them to experience thrills by exposing them to extreme sports and other activities that most people wouldn't dare try.

Create empathy by providing a window into different cultures.

Branded Content, Where Quality Matters More Than Ever

Facebook rolled out a new branded content policy enabling direct monetization for content creators in both the newsfeed as well as in Instant Articles – which is great news for every media company, influencer and content creator who has been waiting to monetize all the social engagement they have been garnering for the past few years.

It is harder than ever to reach and engage audiences due to ad blocking, greater fragmentation of media and deeper competition for time—where brands are no longer up against just other competitive brands for share of mind, but also every content creator who has something valuable (or funny or interesting) to share. Here’s what audience sharing looks like right now compared with 2013:

The ability to integrate brand messaging into valuable content that contributes to, rather than distracts from, the holistic consumer experience is critical to build and sustain brands. And this new announcement is an important step in codifying how brands and content creators can work together effectively and with transparency.

Messenger and the Emergence of Bots

Facebook has been developing its Messenger platform for more than just communication, but the bigger picture became clear at F8. Chat bots have the potential to change the way that businesses market to new and existing customers.

With Bots, Facebook has made Messenger a platform that businesses can use to communicate directly with their customers. With Messenger users can now order flowers and get flight updates and customized news delivered directly to them. And that’s just the beginning. Through Messenger’s Send/Receive API, bots could respond with specific calls to action, images and links.

The next step could be sponsored content, which would open up a completely new avenue for social marketers. As I mentioned above, it’s harder than ever to reach people. Imagine being able to send targeted messages directly through a platform that engages more than 900 million monthly active users . The possibilities are endless.

Tania Yuki is Shareablees founder and CEO.

Join us LIVE on Facebook at 2 p.m. Friday, April 21. Tania will discuss the importance of Facebook's live-streaming capabilities and how your brand can capitalize on them this year.

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