At its annual two-day long F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, Facebook announced a number of new features and other stuff. Although the announcements are meant mostly for developers and app designers, FB users will also get benefited eventually.

Facebook announcements include a major update to its chatting platform, the Facebook messenger. Users will now be able to send photographs, music, GIFs as well as integrate with apps such as The Weather Channel, ESPN, Giphy and others. Enhancements were also announced for Facebook’s analytics platform and its video player. The social network giant is also going into Internet of things.

Here are the details:

Facebook Messenger unveiled as a platform

Facebook officialy opened up its Messenger Platform for developers who will now be able to add messenger features to various iOS and Android apps. So the Messenger service will enable users to do much more than just chatting with others.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in his F8 keynote, “It’s a new platform that developers can use to build apps that help people connect”.

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Developers will now be able to add the Messenger button to other apps for example a movie ticketing service app. After purchasing a movie ticket, the customer can share the details with friends on FB.

Though Facebook’s new platform is available to all developers, it has already partnered with 40 companies including ESPN, Giphy, The Weather Channel and Imgur. Most of them are about photos and entertainment. Some apps are adding Messenger as an additional feature while some apps have been developed specifically for the Messenger platform.

Facebook Messenger Business

This is an interesting new feature in the Messenger Platform. Users will be able to communicate with retailers by sending direct message through the messenger. They will be able to make reservations and also check shipping details.

Facebook says that users can now have personal conversations with companies’ representatives. They can now get immediate responses to their queries and requests.

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Support for 360 degree videos

Mark Zuckerberg announced that soon spherical 360 degree videos will be supported in Facebook’s newsfeed. 24 high-resolution cameras will be used to shoot the videos and users will be able to use their mouse cursor to pan around it. Such spherical videos may look odd on a flat screen but will work very well if you put on a VR headset.

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Embedded Videos

In direct competition to YouTube, Facebook will also be allowing its users to embed Facebook videos in other websites.

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Refreshed Comments

Facebook’s comment feature is getting an update. When users comment on a webpage, it will show up on the official shared story on FB page also.

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Analytics for Apps

Facebook is offering a new tool to developers – Analytics for Apps which will tell them the demography about the people using their apps, whether males or females, teenagers, older people etc.  The info will help developers and marketers to know their audience.

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Mobile Ad Exchange with LiveRail

Facebook bought LiveRail last year. It is a monetization platform that helps publishers to manage their video ads so that the relevant ad appears for the users. In the new update, LiveRail’s capabilities have been extended to mobile display ads. Publishers can now fill ad spaces for mobile display ads too.

In addition, LiveRail will be using anonymized Facebook user data to help publishers target their ads in a better way on platforms other than FB.

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Parse for Internet of Things

Facebook is doing its own bit for the “Internet of Things” (IoT) vision where all the objects, animals and humans will be part of a huge network which will facilitate exchange of data  without the need for human to human or human to computer interactions.

Facebook has introduced SDKs for its Parse mobile app development suite, that will support IoT by helping developers to incorporate data from web-connected devices into their apps. The platform is compatible with Arduino first and other platforms will follow.

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