Led by Mark Zuckerberg, the F8 conference held last night (IST) covered what Facebook is doing for app developers.The focus for the f8 has been on build, grow and monetize apps. And this Mark says can be achieved by building a stable mobile platform.
$3 billion has been processed by Facebook in payments, last year alone. “And it is annoying that mobile is so silent with the same stack build for mobile year on year.
This year Facebook would like to cross platforms, offering tools that developers can use to build, grow and monetize their apps on any platform. This comes from Facebook’s own experience. Facebook is focussing on a new mantra of moving faster on a more stable platform.
The main themes for the F8 were set out by Mark as follows
1. Stable platform: As developers we want tools that work across all these different platforms. It’s annoying to build the same thing three, four, five times. For the first time Facebook is introducing a 2 year stability guarantee for their entire core APIs and platforms/. Even if they change in the future, Facebook says they guarantee they’ll support old versions for at least two years from launch. Every API launched by FB will now be versioned, and developers can choose which version to build on. Facebook also committed to a 48 hour major bug fix turnaround in its new service level agreement.
2. Putting people first: Log In With Facebook worries people. Some people are scared with pressing the blue button, which says Login with Facebook. People want to control what information they want to share especially when you want to log in to an app. Privacy has always been a big issue with Facebook, and controlling apps is a good way to make people feel more comfortable. The new sign in dialog gives users line-by-line control over what you share with each individual app. Users will now be able to change the information they provide to apps, line by line. Friend data sharing is also something that can “surprise” users, so FB is changing how that works.
You can no longer authorize the sharing of friend data with apps, each user has to authorize on their own. Big win for privacy!
Moving to the Build part of the conference, with Ilya Sukhar- co-founder of Parse, a three-year old building tool that Facebook acquired last year. Sukhar mentioned that developing apps with Facebook and Parse: “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.”
Facebook’s making Parse cheap: Core has unlimited up to 30 requests/second, Parse Push is unlimited up to a million recipients, and Parse Analytics is always free.
Ilya introduces Parse Local Data Store. For a lot of people, however, offline is the default. Parse Local Data Store will help host offline apps with the same minimal code. With just a few lines of code, developers can now introduce queries to their software that work just as well offline as on.
Launching AppLinks: The world of mobile has no way to use links to go straight to the locations in other apps where you want to be, and that’s the problem. Applinks – an open-standard, open source SDK designed to help navigate links. Deep links on any platform, including mobile. AppLinks Partners right now include Spotify, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, Hulu and Venmo. For further information log on to applinks.org
Now on to Archibong on ‘grow’, who works on strategic partnerships. He addresses problems for app developers and the organic tools that Facebook has built in.
Problem is that people are coming from web and you want these same people to engage with your mobile app, not the web. To solve, FB built “send to mobile” which delivers a push notification reminder to download an app to your smartphone.
The Newer problem is to get engagement back to your web presence. We have the mobile Like button as Archibong launches it.
The last organic tool he talks about is a quick and easy way to share content privately using the messenger app.
He finally announced the FBStart a new program aimed at startups. This will offer up to $30,000 in free tools and services to get new apps “up and running” fast. The Bootstrap offers $5k in free services, while Accelerate offers $30k in services. You can check this link for further details.
These are the partners offering services through this program.
He then moved on to Mobile App Ads. 350 million installs have been driven by Mobile App Ads. The facts are that people often download these apps through ads and then never use them again, hence FB’s Engagement Ads. These have events, which are unique to your app and which call users back into your app based on the fact that you’ve performed some action in FB.
Deb Liu spoke about making money. She spoke on how to make money with you app.
375 million people play games with Facebook every month, over 100 devs on the platform are making more than $1 million, and as mentioned before over $3 billion in transactions have been processed on FB. “How do I make money on mobile?” is most often asked question. Facebook uniquely positioned to answer this because they were in the same position a few years ago. Liu said that FB learned two lessons for mobile ads: Traditional advertising still works on mobile, and works well, and Facebook had to reinvent how ads looked.
Deb Liu introduced Facebook Advertising Network (FAN). Now you don’t have to find out who in your app is the right person for right audiences. FAN offers a few lines of codes for developers to access relevant ads and interstitials. And this offers native advertising.
First example is Target, which wanted to target users who watch Frozen. FB found these users in myriad apps. Target doesn’t have to talk to these apps individually; FB does the legwork of linking Target with its ideal destination apps and developers.
To summarize here is a snapshot of f8. The f8 conference ended with closing remarks on the hacker culture at FB that is targeted as us and not others. And that they are poised at an outward looking culture
Next year’s F8. Save the date: Fort Mason on 3/25/2015.