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Facebook F8 Announcements: AR For Brands, Dating Feature & More

Written by Daniel
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Earlier this month Facebook hosted its annual F8 Conference for developers, where they revealed a series of announcements and updates. In Episode 11 of our Industry Spotlight series, we discuss three of the most notable announcements…

See below for the full video transcription.



Facebook Messenger

Lee: Okay, so Facebook had the F8 Conference recently, and announced…78 changes, so we’re gonna look at 3 of the headline changes that they’ve rolled out today. So one of the key ones that we want to talk about is they’re releasing three new products into Messenger, one of which is augmented reality for brands to advertise. So that’s something that’s becoming more and more common…

Jamie: Snapchat.

Lee: It’s native now in a lot of phones, isn’t it, AR? So I think this is something that we’re just gonna see a lot more of, and it’s quite a good experience actually, the examples that they give. There are people like Nike on there, Asus, Kia, doing some really cool things within Messenger, really creative ad formats. It gives a really rich experience. I’m not sure whether they’re gonna have the ability to purchase anything in Facebook yet. I know Instagram played with that, didn’t they? But yeah, AR. It’s all about AR.


Facebook Dating

So the next topic that we’re gonna look at is Facebook announcing their dating feature, which is basically Tinder but in Facebook. I’m not sure how happy the big dating players are gonna be about this, to be honest. 

Jamie: Not very. 

Lee: Even the logo looks pretty much like Tinder’s logo.

Jamie: Is that…? That’s the Tech Crunch mock-up, right? 

Lee: Yeah. 

Jamie: That’s not…

Lee: Is that not…?

Chris: That’d be pretty bad wouldn’t it. 

Lee: I was gonna say that’s pretty much the same.

Jamie: It’s just an upside down T in a flame. 

Chris: I don’t know what they’re trying to be with that though. They’re deviating massively, aren’t they? I thought the Marketplace was quite a bold move for them. Sensible move, obviously, but…

Lee: Marketplace works though. The things is, with Facebook, they’ve got that many people on there, there’s not really much they can do wrong, because they’ve got the volume. 

Chris: No, no. I think it’s just… I don’t know, you don’t want it to degrade the brand a little bit too much. They don’t have good reputations necessarily do they, dating apps? 

Lee: Yeah.

Chris: You don’t want that…I don’t know whether I’d want that crossing over with such a strong brand. But yeah, you’re right. They can do pretty much anything they want, can’t they? If they can get away with Marketplace, which is pretty, you know…

Jamie: Craigslist.

Chris: …cheap, isn’t it? Yeah. I think they can get away with that. 

Lee: I think you’re right. Using Facebook as a dating platform just seems a little bit weird. 

Jamie: People don’t want to share their social profiles with the dating apps. 

Chris: Yeah, I was just gonna say that though. If you combine everything on Facebook, aren’t people going to know a little bit too much about you, or more than they’re comfortable actually declaring when they’re on Tinder, for example? You’re only giving so much away. You’re only giving a very small snapshot, your bio, the basics. You don’t want everybody…

Jamie: Well, you don’t give your full name for a start. 

Chris: No. 

Jamie: You just give your first name, right? And then if it shares your profile pictures, it’s not gonna take a genius to look for people called Jamie in Leeds with that profile picture. 

Chris: No. 

Jamie: And then hunt you down and burgle your house, or whatever, when you’re on holiday.

Chris: I guess you could do that same thing in Tinder. I guess there’s a lot of people who go on Tinder…I wouldn’t know by the way, I’ve never been on it. But would obviously get that name, get wherever they live, or whatever university they went to, and just do a quick search on Facebook.

Jamie: I think they’ll lock it down, they’ll have considered this surely. But I don’t think people will trust it on principle, it’s all the same data and platform, whether or not it’s locked down. People will just think that it’s not. Whereas if it’s on your app, it’s sort of a fresh slate, clean slate, isn’t it, fresh start. Put whatever on there you want to divulge, and then they don’t know anything else about you. Can’t accidentally get leaked, or…

Chris: Do you think they’re trying to attract a different demographic with that? Do you think that maybe, because there’s a lot of older people on Facebook now as well than there’s ever been, do you think they’re trying to encourage like an older end to date and stuff like that? 

Jamie: Maybe.

Chris: Maybe. There’s a lot of stigma around it as well. If you’re a little bit older, like me for example, I…

Jamie: You’re pretty old.

Chris: I’d be a little bit embarrassed going on Tinder now, if I’m being completely honest with you. I don’t think it’d be suited to my age or demographic. I don’t know whether people are probably thinking, you know, they don’t want to tell people that they’re on Tinder, but maybe saying that you’re on Facebook dating has a little bit more credibility. I don’t know.

Lee: I think they’ll do anything, won’t they, to boost their numbers. They’ve got to a stage where they’ve just got that many people on there. Anybody that they can grab, they’ll take.

Jamie: Maybe people are less likely to mess around on it, if they’ve already got a history on Facebook and they’re already tied in to that platform they’re less likely to screw around. If you join something fresh, like Tinder, and don’t divulge any info, you’re less hesitant to screw around on it, aren’t you?

Chris: You don’t want to tarnish your Facebook presence, do you really?

Jamie: That’s what I mean, so maybe it’ll attract that kind of audience that’s slightly more serious and older like you say, who’ve maybe got that tie back to the Facebook platform and don’t want to…

Chris: That’s why I think people will probably take it a little bit more seriously, they won’t just sign up for like a quick bash and…

Jamie: It could happen. 

Lee: Next topic then. 

Jamie: Dating Psychology 101.


Instagram & Whatsapp Group Calls

Lee: So the final thing that we’re just gonna cover from the Facebook conference is Instagram and WhatsApp soon getting group video calling. So obviously you can do video calling on WhatsApp as it stands, but not in a group, so this is…I’ve only really experienced a group chat on Hangouts. 

Jamie: On desktop.

Lee: Google, yeah.

Jamie: Yeah, it’s a bit…well, as we were just discussing off-camera, I don’t…video calling, to me, is a bit of a niche thing. It’s a bit of a novelty. It’s not really a thing that people make use of every day, as far as I’m aware.

Lee: Don’t you think that’s down to reliability, though?

Jamie: A little bit, yeah, I do. But it just seems like you don’t really need to see who you’re talking to when you’re on the phone to them.

Chris: Yeah, that’s a little bit strange, because I don’t think there’ll be too many instances where friends all want to jump on the…

Jamie: Yeah, especially in a group.

Chris: …the mobile in a group, and it’s…it is more private. I think when it’s one to one, and you’re having a WhatsApp video call, I think that works a little bit better if you’re just trying to briefly get some information across to somebody that you can’t get over message. You don’t go on it with an intention to be on for like an hour, do you?

Jamie: No. But in terms of, like, group chatting on a casual app like Instagram or WhatsApp, when have you ever had a group voice call on those apps? Never, no one’s ever done that, surely, right? So why would anyone suddenly want video and voice in a group? 

Lee: But… Reading between the lines on this, I was just gonna say, Facebook have got their business offering…

Jamie: Did they announce anything for that? 

Lee: Well, I don’t know, but it’s growing and they are getting market penetration. I think they released a load of integrations for it. So even under the radar, they’ve even integrated Google Drive into it, which is one of the biggest integrations.

Jamie: Atlassian, that was interesting, brought slack on there.

Lee: And I think them publicly saying, “Oh, Instagram and WhatsApp are getting group,” I reckon that’ll then transpose into Facebook for Work. Yeah, and then that… I can see that application then. If they’re testing this technology out in the public, they’re getting so much data off the back of it, they can then put a product into Facebook for work that works really well.

Jamie: And I’m sorry but I’m sick of people announcing new features that have been done a million times before. Group video chat, I mean, if you look down the history of technology, how many times has that been announced as a new feature?

Lee: Hmm. It’s always interesting when a massive player like Facebook gets hold of it and does something with it though. Like I say if they can make it work and it’s reliable, it might get much wider adoption. 

Jamie: We’ll see.

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