The first day of Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, had a few announcements which were about augmented reality, VR, Messenger bots and more.

And in case you missed the Day One keynote, here it is:

Camera Effects Platform

Facebook is making a big push for augmented reality and their new Camera Effects Platform will push them even further. The platform has two products, Frames Studio and AR Studio.

Frames Studio is an online tool, that’s available globally, and allows users to design frames that can either be used as a profile picture or in the new Facebook camera. AR Studio is the more interesting of the two products, developers can create masks, scripted effects, animated frames and can overlay AR technologies that can react to movement in the real-world via the Facebook camera.

Facebook is now accepting applications for their closed beta for AR Studio. The company will also be rolling out effects to Facebook Live such as This or That and Giphy Live, which are both being powered by their AR Studio. Both of these effects are designed to respond in real-time to what’s happening during a Facebook Live broadcast.

You can find out more here.

Messenger

Ever since Facebook announced their Messenger Platform at F8 2016, it has grown in popularity and has become an essential channel for businesses, developers and consumers. There are more than 100,000 monthly active bots and 2 billion messages sent between people and businesses every month.

Facebook announced some new features coming to the version 2.0 of the platform, including:

  • A new Discover tab, which allows users to find the bot for Messenger that they’re looking for, but in an intuitive and thoughtful way. Also there are now parametric Messenger codes for the real-world, so users can scan them through the Messenger camera to be linked to their favourite brands and businesses.
  • Chat Extensions, allow multiple people to chat with the same business at the same time. Users can also add a bot in their group chats.
  • M, Messenger’s AI assistant, can now order food through delivery.com. For example, if you’re in a group chat with your friends about what to eat, M will suggest placing an order. You’ll also be able to do group ordering and payment as well.
  • There will be new game bots that offer rich gameplay
  • Smart Replies, this will help Pages respond to the most frequently asked questions that small businesses get asked, such as business hours, directions and contact details.
  • The Hand-over Protocol is a new way for businesses to work with multiple developers for different experiences on Messenger.

Facebook Spaces

Facebook Spaces is a new VR app, where you can hangout with your friends in a virtual world, as if you were in the same room. You can watch 360 videos and photos together, draw in the air with a virtual marker or talk to friends via Messenger video calling.

The app is launching in beta for Oculus Rift, starting today.

Developer Circles

Developer Circles is a new program that will let developers connect with each other, so they can learn or even collaborate on projects. It’s free to join and it’s open to any developer around the world. You can find out more about Developer Circles, here.

Places Graph

Places Graph is a new way to access free data on more than 140 million places around the world. Everything public spaces and parks to restaurants and stores. Included in the data will be place names, address, photos, Facebook consumer ratings and more.

Apps will be able to use this data to create location-award experiences to users, so then can make more informed decisions about where to go and what to do.

Identity for Messenger bots

Identity is a new API for bots on Facebook Messenger. It will allow developers to create a more smooth experience between Facebook Login ID and a Messenger ID.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook has launched new capabilities to their Analytics platform with such things as rich audience demographics and measuring customer behaviour. It will also help developers understand and optimize a customer’s journey across channels.

The Automated Insights tool uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to help bring insights to developers and businesses.

Source: Facebook Newsroom

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