One of the keys to the success of Facebook has been the constant evolution of the platform. Right now, Facebook is hosting its annual developer’s conference, where they often release information about upcoming changes and updates. Already, the company has announced several changes to Facebook that will make the social media network, and its related apps, more useful for marketers.
The news came in all sizes. Some of the changes the company announced were geared toward toward regular business owners, while others were more for the app developer audience of the conference. Either way, the announcements revealed a few of the ways businesses may be using Facebook in the near future.
The companion Messenger app for Facebook is getting several new tools that business owners can use to promote their business. Business will be able to setup of automated bots to answer common questions, send invoices and other features.
According to the company, “As part of the new Messenger Platform, bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages — all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”
Another interesting feature the company is adding is Facebook 360. This is a system of cameras that can be used to generate complete view of a particular object or room. The idea was first discussed last year, and while Facebook still has a few things to do before they start sending out kits and specs, the project is clearly something that will definitely happen.
Facebook 360 is perfect for creating tours of locations and rooms. Hotels, home builders and interior designers are just a few of the business types that will be able to benefit from using Facebook 360 once it becomes available.
“We’ve designed and built a 3D-360 camera system called Facebook Surround 360 that produces sharp, truly spherical footage in 3D,” the company explained in a release about the F8 conference. “The system includes stitching technology that seamlessly marries the video from 17 cameras, vastly reducing post-production effort and time. We’ll be making the design specs and stitching code available on GitHub this summer.
For increasing the reach of content, Facebook is adding in new tools that they hope will encourage sharing. One is a specific Quote Sharing tool. This will let people quickly share interesting quotes they find with their friends. The other sharing tool is for hashtags. The feature will let content writers suggest hashtags for people who are replying to a particular post.
Facebook is also adding a Save button that will make it easier for people to return to articles and posts that they like. The sharing tools even include some additional functionality for app developers in the form of new APIs for app sharing. And there will also be new insights based on these new sharing tools.
The F8 conference is still going on, so there may be more annoucnements from Facebook before the end of the week. Afterwards, business owners and marketers should be on the lookout for official launches for these products.
For more news about Facebook, read this article on Facebook’s plan to increase access to Instant Articles later this month.