We Are Social: Tuesday Tune-Up #233
Coachella hasn’t been the only buzzed-about thing coming out of California these past few days – Facebook gave the festival a run for its money on social media with their annual Global Developer Conference in San Fran. Less crop tops and lasers, more announcements, developments and futuristic gizmos. Just what we needed, Zuck!
The CEO took the stage to tell the world the company’s 10-year roadmap, which focused on three main phases: improving Facebook proper over the next three years, strengthening Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and other key products over the next five years, and developing virtual reality, AI and worldwide connectivity over the next 10 years. So, nothing too ambitious…
Still, no laser lights, but for your entertainment we’ve recapped some highlights:
- Messenger, now with chatbots! The new bots are designed to have a human feel and will deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance and other interactive experiences.
- Surround 360, Facebook’s new VR camera, was revealed, and the behemoth of a camera looks more like a UFO. Built with 17 individual cameras, you really can see EVERYTHING! Oh, and by the way, it’s open source, so you can even build it yourself if you’re up for it.
- WhatsApp and Messenger combined see 3x the amount of messages sent daily compared to SMS. The times they are a-changin’!
- Facebook is releasing an API for developers who want to plug into Facebook Live. The first partners include BuzzFeed and drone-maker DJI.
- Instant Articles are now available for all publishers, and they’re seeing some impressive results for the new format. Instant Articles are read 20 percent more often, have 70 percent better retention, and are shared 30 percent more often than regular pieces.
- Facebook starts testing Sponsored Messages ads, which allow businesses to send re-engagement messages to people who have already started a conversation with them.
- A “Rights Manager” has been introduced to control video copyright infringement, similar to what exists on YouTube. You can even upload videos that you’re not using on Facebook and track/take action against infringements.
- Oculus demoed a VR selfie stick that allows you to teleport your avatar to the other side of the word just to snap that perfect selfie!
- New connectivity projects Terragraph and Project ARIES were announced, which could use new techniques to cover underserved areas with consistent, high-speed WiFi or cellular coverage. Is it too late to switch out NBN for this…?
- Much much more…
KFC Australia’s NSFW Tweet makes headlines
Last week, the fast food chain’s Australian branch tweeted this spicy photo, which was promptly deleted about an hour after posting.
The actual media reported on the incident within minutes of it being deleted, and everyone from Huff Post Canada to Pedestrian were quick to comment on the ill-advised tweet. Wait, hang on a minute…
Instagram bringing more video to the Explore tab
After an overhaul of Instagram’s Explore tab, there will now be more video channels, which will include features such as Videos You Might Like and Featured – a Snapchat-style channel to curate live events (the first of which was none other than #Coachella, of course).
The new feature is only in the US for now, but will be rolling out to the rest of the world “soon”.
More new features for Facebook Messenger
In their continued quest to be the world’s ultimate messaging app, Facebook has added even more features to Messenger. You can now drop files straight from your Dropbox into your chats. Also, while you’re having a video chat through Messenger, you can now switch to “persistent Chat Heads”.
This is possibly the only thing that makes me feel disappointed to be an iOS user. Only Androiders will be able to keep video chat bubbles on screen in any app, while us iOS fans will be restricted to using Chat Heads within Messenger only. Apple, you’re officially on notice!
The update will be rolled out across the world over the next couple of days.
Snapchat launched dynamic emojis
Ok, now I’m seriously considering the Android switch. Either that, or I wait until Snapchat gives me the right to add a moving emoji that attaches itself to objects in my snaps, too! The emojis change size and even orientation as the subject moves, but they are only available to Android users at the moment. iOS is said to be added “shortly”, so stay tuned and prepare your cat…
Ticketmaster partners with Facebook to sell tickets on the social platform
Now if you want to buy tickets to your favourite concert, you may not even have to leave Facebook to do so. Ticketmaster will start selling tickets for certain events on Facebook this month, and they will be taking an affiliate fee for doing so.
“By putting the ability to buy tickets directly within Facebook, we hope that we’re going to provide a more seamless purchase experience and sell more tickets”, said a Ticketmaster spokesperson.
And if the transaction is made within Facebook, Ticketmaster can’t target me with 50 optional extras and competitions to enter throughout the checkout process, right? Bring it.