It’s been nearly three years, but Facebook will finally hold its F8 developer conference Wednesday in San Francisco. The event, which Facebook reps have said will go “back to the roots” of the conference, will likely focus on mobile and monetization.
The keynote is scheduled to start at 10AM PDT, and I’ll be liveblogging here starting around 9:30 AM PDT.
Thanks for hanging out with us at F8! Stay tuned for more information and insights on what Facebook has announced throughout the day.
And that’s a wrap!
Zuckerberg: “It’s an honor to serve you guys in this mission.”
Zuckerberg is now talking about Facebook’s “strong hacker culture” — a nod to the fourth track at F8, Hacker’s Way, perhaps?
Next year’s F8. Save the date: Fort Mason on 3/25/2015
Zuck: “Build, Grow, and Monetize. This is what you need to build great mobile apps and great experiences.”
Zuckerberg back onstage.
FAN borrows a lot from what Facebook has learned deploying apps in FB and Instagram.
It seems like FAN’s app ads and interstitials are designed to fit in with apps, along with utilizing Facebook’s targeting.
And it offers Native advertising: “We have pioneered this space on mobile and made it amazing because it’s part of the user experience.”
Facebook Audience Network offers a few lines of codes for developers to access relevant ads and interstitials.
“You don’t have to find out who in your app is the right person for right audiences.”
Liu Announces Facebook Audience Network!
Liu’s pumping up Facebook’s targeting system, which relies on the subtleties of people’s likes and behavior.
Liu is showing off Facebook’s News Feed ads: “It’s just like our News Feed.”
Liu says FB learned two lessons for mobile ads: Advertising still works on mobile, and works well, and Facebook had to reinvent how ads looked.
Liu: “How do we make money on mobile? We’re in a unique position to answer that question, because just two years ago, we made no money on mobile.”
375M people play games with FB each month, and over 100 developers made more than $1m in 2013
Games have been the focal point of FB’s money-making strategy, through Canvas.
Deborah Liu now onstage: “Money is the lifeblood of your business.”
Now we’re onto the good stuff: Making money.
Facebook’s got some flashy numbers for apps that have been successful.
Archibong: “This is like a nice reminder from a friend to listen to content I would enjoy”
Now talking about engagement ads, which target users who have already downloaded specific apps and entice them to return to that app.
Archibong: 350 million installs have been driven by Mobile App Ads.
Now onto Mobile app ads!
Bootstrap offers $5k in free services, while Accelerate offers $30k in services.
FBStart has $30,000 in tools to help devs start up and grow their apps:
Archibong announced a new partner program, FBStart: “We’re sensitive to the challenge it is to just operate your business.”
Lana Del Ray, again!
Archibong on the mobile Like button: “In an easy way, they’ve empowered me to be an evangelist for their app.”
Like and Share buttons are used across 10M sites today. And now it’s on mobile!
Facebook users can send a link to their phones, transitioning apps on desktop to apps on mobile, but it’s not perfect.
Archibong: “A number of you still have a tremendous amount of people visiting you from the web every day, but these are the users you want to engage with a mobile app.”
Archibong will be talking about the “Grow” pillar of F8.
Fun fact: Archibong coaches a lot of kids’ basketball
Now onto Ime Archibong, who works with Strategic Partnerships.
Everything is available on AppLinks.org. Sukhar reiterates that it’s open source.
For example, Spotify is working with Songkick to buy concert tickets within the app.
AppLinks Partners right now include Spotify, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, Hulu and Venmo.
Sukhar: One line of code sends users to the selected URL and brings them back into the app.
For devs: AppLinks offers a set of new tags to drop into new content for platform versions. Mobile-only sites have a special API.
Oh wow, media links continue to work within apps. The music from Soundcloud in this demo continues to play.
Sukhar introduces AppLinks: an open-standard, open source SDK designed to help navigate links.
“What if that wasn’t the case? What if we could break down these walls?”
Sukhar says opening links on mobile/tablet can be fussy with in-app browsers. He’s right.
Sukhar on URLs: “It’s a shame it’s not a big deal on mobile right now”
Sukhar is speeding through topics! Now he’s musing on the Web URL.
Parse Local Data Store will help host offline apps with the same minimal code.
Sukhar on offline apps: “Only the best, largest companies focus on this, and for smaller companies, it doesn’t work quite as well.”
Now onto low connectivity situations — some audience member made a crack about the event’s WiFi.
Sukhar: “You can’t just have a lot of growth. People might just go straight out the door. You want to keep them there.”
Sukhar’s now talking growth for apps.
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.
“If you’re two guys cooking something up, I’m with you. I want to help you with your dream.”
Parse has nearly tripled its user base since it was acquired last year.
“We have all these tools to build great apps across every single platform” Web, iOS, Android, Unity, etc.
Parse Push, for example, sends push notifications with just eight lines of Objective C.
Sukhar is now showing off the F8 apps, and how Parse helps enable it.
Sukhar on developing apps with Facebook and Parse: “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.”
Sukhar is a co-founder of Parse, a three-year old building tool that Facebook acquired last year.
Now moving to the “Build” pillar of platform with Ilya Sukhar.
Seems like Facebook is tying up a lot of loose ends with Log-in, helping people share their data with special nuance. It builds the trust the platform lacks right now.
“You’re going to be able to have an experience that’s synced without the app knowing who you are.”
Zuckerberg introduces Anonymous Log-in!
Sharing on Facebook will also change, especially with data handled by friends-of-friends: “Now, everyone has to choose to share their own data with an app themselves.”
Privacy has always been a big issue with Facebook, and controlling apps is a good way to make people feel more comfortable.
Fun Fact: Zuckerberg loves Lana Del Ray.
Users will now be able to change the information they provide to apps, line by line.
Log In With Facebook worries people: “We know some people are scared with pressing this blue button”
Another theme for today: “It’s really important that in every single thing we do, we should always put people first”
Zuckerberg: “We want to make sure that all the apps we wrote two years ago keep working.”
To keep that promise, Facebook is offering a 2-year core API stability guarantee.
Now it’s “Move Fast with Stable Infra” — not as sexy, but safer.
Is Facebook finally abandoning “Move Fast and Break Things”? Zuckerberg has says the strategy been a slow process.
Facebook handles 470B API calls today on its own platform
“As developers, of course we want tools that work across all these different platforms. It’s annoying to build the same thing three, four, five times.”
Zuckerberg: “The mobile ecosystem is so siloed” citing Facebook, Android, Windows, and the Web.
Facebook has driven 1+ billion app downloads and $3 billion in mobile payments.
Zuck: “This is going to be different.”
Zuckerberg takes the stage and away we go!
Nearly every seat is filled in the hall, and the lights are dim. The keynote should start very soon.
The big news swirling around blogs is that Facebook will debut its mobile ad network today.
Less than 5 minutes remaining. Rumor has it that this F8 will be focusing on dev tools and mobile — a departure from 2011’s consumer products.
Finally in the keynote hall! Getting packed.
Headed to the keynote hall!
The scene is buzzing with developers, especially around the showroom space where Facebook has set up different demo areas.
T-minus 30 minutes until F8’s keynote! Developers continue to pour in.