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Facebook F8 2017 Trend Recap & Analysis

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I look forward to Facebook’s F8 developer conference each year. It’s a great opportunity to see how Facebook is prioritizing and adjusting their 10 year road map based on shifting consumer behavior and new advancements in technology.

What was fascinating about this years conference is the rate they are accelerating the convergence of technologies that connect us, immerse us into new virtual worlds and advancing innovation well beyond what we would expect from a company that identifies itself as social first.

Facebook wants to redefine how we think about reality and the not too distant future when all reality is augmented and virtual. The following provides analysis across the consumer centric filters of connection, cognition and immersion.

Connection – Trends that reimagine how we connect, enable and empower consumers
Cognition – Trends where machine based intelligence will disrupt and redefine data assets and how we work
Immersion – Trends that align technology and presence to evoke emotion, entertain and power commerce

The recap dives into how the camera becomes a new point of connection and distribution along with the potential rise of effect based marketing, the role of cognitive systems to enhance everything from newsfeed, messenger and augmented reality to the launch of social first virtual reality products and the near future of brain controlled interfaces.

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Facebook F8 2017 Trend Recap & Analysis

  1. 1. Epsilon Agency March 20th, 2017 1 FACEBOOK F8
  2. 2. FACEBOOK F8 2017 I look forward to Facebook’s F8 developer conference each year. It’s a great opportunity to see how Facebook is prioritizing and adjusting their 10 year road map based on shifting consumer behavior and new advancements in technology. What was fascinating about this years conference is the rate they are accelerating the convergence of technologies that connect us, immerse us into new virtual worlds and advancing innovation well beyond what we would expect from a company that identifies itself as social first. Facebook wants to redefine how we think about reality and the not too distant future when all reality is augmented and virtual. The following provides analysis across the consumer centric filters of connection, cognition and immersion. • Connection – Trends that reimagine how we connect, enable and empower consumers • Cognition – Trends where machine based intelligence will disrupt and redefine data assets and how we work • Immersion – Trends that align technology and presence to evoke emotion, entertain and power commerce The recap dives into how the camera becomes a new point of connection and distribution along with the potential rise of effect based marketing, the role of cognitive systems to enhance everything from newsfeed, messenger and augmented reality to the launch of social first virtual reality products and the near future of brain controlled interfaces. 
 Tom Edwards Chief Digital Officer, Agency 2
  3. 3. Cognition Connection Immersion Zone of
 Convergence EFFECT-IVE STORYTELLING EVOLUTION OF M SLAM/VISION AI FRAMING AR CHAT EXTENSIONS CAMERA EFFECTS PLATFORM BOTS 2.0 PLACES GRAPH SOCIAL VR FACEBOOK SPACES BUILDING 8 WORKPLACE INTEGRATION
  4. 4. CONNECTION
  5. 5. 5 The Roadmap
  6. 6. Building Community 6 Connection Facebook was founded on the principle of connecting people. Over the years the evolution of their products has ebbed and flowed between sharing individual experiences with friends and family, to playing engaging games, to new ways to directly connect via messenger. The election in 2016 highlighted how a focus on friends and families creates echo-chambers of interests and viewpoints and the rise of fake news created new problems with the current structure. 
 
 Now Facebook is not only focused on connecting friends and family members of the 1.86 billion people on their platform, they are also focused on building community. Implications: This shift will have an impact on brand marketers, small businesses and enterprise organizations as Facebook will shift from being the “white page” of friends (and friends of friends) to the “yellow pages”, enhancing the 60 million businesses that currently leverage Facebook. 
 This means new tools across the product set will further create reach and scale across platforms . Facebook understands that in order to evolve beyond echo chambers and expand new points of connection that creating new tools to expand networks is key.
  7. 7. 7 Camera As A Platform
  8. 8. Content < Effects 8 Connection Facebook understands that in order to truly create scale the key is to empower consumers, developers and other 3rd parties to create experiences on their behalf. Consumer empowerment is powerful and will accelerate adoption and ultimately influence consumer behavior towards a new normal. 
 The democratization of augmented reality (AR) powered by advancing artificial intelligence (AI), has the potential to redefine advertisers approaches to content marketing, making it less about content and more about enabling experiences through compelling and contextually relevant effects. Implications: Snapchat paved the way for light AR experiences and Pokemon Go appended location. With the new Frames & AR studios we get the first creative palettes to capitalize on building experiences that enhance not only content but the physical world. Facebook is laser focused on creating compelling, real world experiences that will redefine reality and the role data plays to map to contextual effects will need to be considered. One of the biggest announcements of the conference was the Camera as Facebook’s Augmented Reality Platform.
  9. 9. 9 Framing Reality
  10. 10. Frames & AR Studios 10 Connection Two sets of tools comprise the new Camera Effects Platform. The Frames Studio allows for quick deployment and creation of effects that can enhance an image, video or even Facebook live stream. This platform allows artists, creators and brands to create frames that can be targeted using Facebook targeting abilities for distribution. The AR Studio is where it’s possible to create light weight AR effects that can developed and enhanced with elements such as real-time data to build highly contextual AR experiences. This is where brand marketers have an opportunity to align data + experiences.
 Implications: The ability to integrate various elements such as real time sports or travel data as well was web and streaming content open up new possibilities for creating real-time and highly contextual experiences. The other point to consider is how effects are discovered and distributed. Effects can be found in the newsfeed or directly within the camera and they are supported by targeting and analytics. Effects discovery is driven by algorithms on both newsfeed & camera. The ability to integrate various forms of data, content and experiences via AR studio makes it a compelling platform to test and experiment on how to push it’s limits.
  11. 11. 11 Messenger 2.0
  12. 12. Seamless Discovery 12 Connection 2016 was considered the year of the bot. Primarily fueled by Facebook’s Messenger beta, which accelerated the development of a bot ecosystem to further enhance the Messenger experience. In 2017, Facebook is positioning Messenger as Messenger 2.0 with a sharp focus on integration of other services via chat extensions giving 3rd party bots the ability to seamlessly connect other services such as Spotify or Apple Music. Facebook is also keen on driving discovery among the 100,000 bots now on the platform via the new discover tab. Implications: With over 1.2 billion active users and 65 million businesses, Messenger will continue to play a pivotal role in Facebook’s strategy. Understanding the various use cases and the role Messenger plays from raising awareness, acquiring customers, better customer service, enabling commerce and transactions and developing experiences that enhance the experience are key. Messenger is incredibly viable within the Facebook ecosystem and will continue to evolve in 2017. From enhanced discoverability of bots, games and experiences, chat extensions to a path towards predictive utility with the integration of M (virtual assistant)
  13. 13. 13 Facebook & Gaming
  14. 14. Gaming Videos & eSports 14 Connection Convergence of gaming & video has been a massive trend over the past 24 months. 2B people play games each month. The rise and consumption of game streams now consists of 665M people watching people play games. On Facebook people watch, play & create. Facebook’s gaming video product supports eSports (14-31% of live gaming consumption), developers, gaming entertainers and social connection for consumers of game stream content. Gaming content is digitally native baked in real time interactivity. With gaming video the audience is more than a spectator. They participate in the experience via comments and getting involved in the gameplay. Implications: Facebook understands the growth potential of gaming video as well as the importance of eSports, live video of competitions and distribution of fan created content. 
 
 They rolled out new Mid-roll ad break products that also reside within Facebook Live as a way for brands to further connect through gaming Facebook’s Gaming Video Product enables players to live stream directly to Facebook without any additional hardware. They are focused on seamlessly enabling streaming and connection while supporting with direct feedback and mid-roll ad breaks and attribution.
  15. 15. Instant Games & Gameroom 15 Connection 800M people play at least one Facebook connected game every month. It’s a key engagement driver on the platform and Facebook is looking to continue to expand into new platforms. Instant games can be played in messenger and newsfeed without the need to download. They are highly accessible HTML 5 based games. Games can be solo, but most are highly social and multiplayer games that are click and play experiences. Late in 2016 Facebook launched Gameroom as a native desktop application to support PC games with over 1000 titles over 10 categories. The key takeaway here is the upcoming release of game feed which will surface various gaming content types. Implications: Facebook’s research shows gaming is a fundamental part of the Facebook experience. Brands need to consider the role that Facebook gaming platforms can play and how they can enable gaming experiences or create their own instant game experiences to capitalize on this highly engaged audience.Gaming is a fundamental part of the Facebook experience. Understanding how to extend the value of instant games, or conversation via Gameroom can lead to new types of engagement with a highly engaged user base.
  16. 16. 16 Context Through Location
  17. 17. Power of Places 17 Connection Over 1 billion people interact with locations monthly on Facebook and Places Graph, essentially Facebook location data, supports Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. The places graph data set includes over 140 million places from around the world. The data is sourced by users and the data set is constantly evolving globally. At F8 Facebook launched new SDK’s and API’s to provide access to Facebook’s places data. You can take those location signals from a mobile device and convert to contextual information for locations nearby. Implications: Building location aware experiences to tailor experiences for the end user is a key way to connect with consumers, understand occasions and increase discoverability. By leveraging Places graph in a native application or messenger bot it’s possible to search for places, location tagging & discovery. It’s also possible to determine where a person is located, Facebook demonstrated how the new Places Graph can support easy place card creation via the Android SDK. For the new Samsung Galaxy S8, Places Graph can integrate locations with virtual assistants such as Samsung’s Bixby.
  18. 18. 18 Workplace Integration
  19. 19. Bots & Workplace 19 Connection Digital transformation is top of mind for most organizations. Part of the process is solidifying internal collaboration and knowledge sharing. From a B2B and B2E perspective Facebook’s workplace offering is gaining momentum. The familiarity of the platform along with a mobile first approach based around groups and chat makes for an easy transition for employees. During F8 2017, Facebook showcased the ability to enhance Workplace through 3rd party bot creation. Implications: For B2B organizations or those undergoing B2E transformation it’s now possible to leverage or create 3rd party integrations into Workplace. This can include various task related bots, or new use cases that are relevant to the workplace similar to Taco Bell’s integration into Slack. Employee networks represent a unique medium that is primed for disruption and new ways of working. Facebook Workplace is continuing to gain traction as an internal employee network solution. Facebook has created new integration points that allow for the creation of 3rd party supported bots.
  20. 20. COGNITION
  21. 21. 21 Intelligent Systems
  22. 22. Data Design + AI 22 Connection Facebook is focused on leveraging multiple facets of Artificial Intelligence to power their products and accelerate 3rd party ecosystems. Computer vision, natural language processing, and algorithms drive content discovery and their newly launched AR experiences. AI is now a foundational element to Facebook’s go-to-market strategy. Facebook’s ultimate goal is to develop intelligent systems that go beyond computer vision and truly understand the world. This will then converge with their vision of an AR driven future to create a unified experience. Implications: For the past fifteen months my data design team has focused on aligning emerging artificial intelligence systems and algorithms to inform our quantitative and qualitative research that then aligns with our world class proprietary data assets, including the largest transactional data set in the world. Data design is incredibly important to create the framework for personalization at scale.Facebook views Artificial Intelligence as the enabling engine of their products. From enhancing perception in AR, understanding context through unstructured data to drive prediction to power M, AI is pivotal to Facebook’s evolution.
  23. 23. 23 Connecting Physical & Digital
  24. 24. Physical to Digital 24 Connection One of the foundational elements of Facebook’s approach to mobile augmented reality is the need to support a consumer’s desire to interact and explore as well as quickly process a users environment. 
 Mixing digital and physical through enhancing the display of information and digital objects combined with 3D effects, object recognition and location will make up a bulk of the consumer facing AR experiences. This type of precision location and mapping is driven by a combination of AI based elements focused on enhancing computer vision and semantic segmentation. This creates the new found depth and real- time parsing of 3D effects that give the sense of magical movement. Implications: Precision location and mapping both within the on screen experience as well as the proximity of users to objects will be a key factor in unlocking the ability to append virtual notes within a physical environment among other use cases. It’s important to start thinking about how brand experiences should be digitally overlaid in a physical world. Facebook is on a path towards a true convergence of augmented reality and the physical world. Starting with the phone, SLAM is a key component for how experiences will come to life.
  25. 25. 25 Rise of the Proxy
  26. 26. Path to The Proxy Web 26 Connection In the very near future we as consumers will have intelligent systems serving the role of a proxy. Facebook is betting on M to first serve as a virtual assistant that will eventually become a predictive service that is the foundation for their virtual computing future. M will integrate into multiple facets of a user’s life from sharing location to recommendations. In the near future M can become the connection between a recommendation and AR object recognition action. 
 Implications: Understanding that most marketing of today is based on reactive datasets, we are quickly accelerating towards intelligent systems that are contextually aware. Data is the fuel for AI and defining a strategy that incorporates reactive data of today with affective data of tomorrow is key. 
 
 Once contextual awareness is achieved we will see the rise of the proxy web and then ultimately general intelligence. From a marketing perspective, it is important to understand that strategies will need to be defined that are consumer centric as well as account for general assistant and proxy based strategies. Virtual assistants like M are critical components for the vision of the proxy web. Initially it will provide smart replies, recommendations and integrate into Messenger’s chat extensions to expand the services within a thread. In the future it will be the connection point for true AR.
  27. 27. IMMERSION
  28. 28. 28 Democratization of Virtual Reality
  29. 29. Immersive Storytelling Facebook views virtual reality as a method to connect physical to digital as well as a bridge towards the north star of virtual computing supporting a fully immersive augmented reality future. They understand that in order to achieve this goal the products and experiences need to become more accessible and easier to use. The key to driving adoption at scale is to empower consumers, developers and other 3rd parties to create experiences. Facebook focused a lot of time during F8 to outline how they are enabling 360 degree video creation, guidance to creators on how to create cross platform for the new medium, new products to align social with VR and a new browser for Oculus that will make web browsing more interactive. Implications: Facebook described virtual reality as the most powerful social platform to date. They want to combine real and virtual worlds through the lens of social connection to create a new reality. 
 
 Marketers need to pay attention to how consumers interact with these experiences and the rate at which they are creating their own 360 and virtual content. 29 Facebook is championing the adoption of 360 cameras and content as a bridge towards empowering consumers to create immersive content.
  30. 30. 30 Facebook Spaces
  31. 31. Facebook Spaces Facebook officially launched Spaces for Oculus. This was first teased at F8 last year and the experience has definitely advanced from the grainy avatars from a year ago. 
 
 Facebook took research and learnings from Oculus Rooms via the Samsung Gear and refined an experience that lets your virtual avatar interact with Facebook content and friends in a virtual environment. 
 
 From virtual selfies to watching 360 video, it’s very clear to see that Facebook is focused on creating a new for of social interaction via a virtual environment. Implications: Facebook described virtual reality as the most powerful social platform to date. Facebook’s early research shows that there are two primary aspects of VR experiences. People centric vs. Activity centric. 
 
 As Facebook Spaces expands it is important to note that user behaviors within social VR environments is similar to real world scenarios. Users want variety of experiences. They want the ability to shift between media experiences. From watching TV together virtually to playing lightweight games to doing both at the same time. 31 I had an opportunity to create my Facebook Spaces avatar live at the conference. It was a quick setup that linked directly to the Facebook app on my phone via a code and I was off and creating my avatar.
  32. 32. ZONE OF
 CONVERGENCE
  33. 33. 33 Body As An Interface
  34. 34. Brain Controlled Interface One of the more fascinating sessions of F8 was delivered during the day 2 keynote. Building 8 is the new DARPA like innovation practice. They are focused on groundbreaking work based in neuroscience. Their goal is to create systems that will allow for brainwaves and skin to control different types of interfaces. This can include typing up to 100 WPM, navigating a VR experience directly with thought or converting Mandarin to English directly to your brain through signals sent through your skin. Implications: Many consider speech as the next operating system but speech is a compression algorithm and compared to the rate of processing of the human brain is equivalent to streaming 4 HD movies simultaneously through a 1980’s dial up modem. Directly converting thought to action will accelerate our ability to control multiple interfaces simultaneously. Marketers need to monitor advancements in this area as it has the potential to significantly accelerate the rate and amount of content and experiences that consumers can process. 34 Facebook’s work on Brain Controlled and Skin Sensing interfaces demonstrate how Facebook understands that at some point we will move beyond mobile devices and our minds and environments will drive our interactions, tasks and how we engage.
  35. 35. 35 Full Augmented Reality
  36. 36. The North Star Facebook took the first major step in achieving their 10 year goal of fully immersive augmented reality by launching the camera as their first augmented reality platform. On day 2 of the conference, they outlined in detail how they view transparent glasses (deemed more socially appropriate) or some equivalent that is paired with a general artificial intelligence system to enhance our daily lives. 
 
 This includes improving memory, cognition, recognition and redefining how we interact with the physical world and collaborate with one another. Implications: Although the technology does not exist yet to make this a reality they are focused on creating and advancing the role AR will play over the coming years. By redefining consumer behavior through AR based effects and advancing their AI based systems they are laying the groundwork to capitalize on a fully immersive AR driven future. As marketers we need to continue to think about the convergence of data, cognitive systems and immersive experiences. 36 The Camera as the primary augmented reality platform is merely the first step towards aligning a future of fully immersive AR that is driven by real-time AI and impacts all facets of the world around us.
  37. 37. GET GROWING
  38. 38. Questions or inquiries can be sent to: Tom.Edwards@epsilon.com @BlackFin360

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