It has been quite a month for us here at Master of Code! We were selected to send delegates to the annual Facebook Developer Conference for the third year in a row and the event continues to outdo itself.
This year, the overall theme focused on the future being private. This meant lots of updates around encryption and dedicated spaces for only you and your loved ones across all of Facebook’s family of apps. Despite the private focus the conference was also filled with impressive platform updates and exciting product releases such as the new Oculus Quest (every attendee will be getting one!), Facebook Dating (again) and the new and improved Portal, a device designed to make it easier to chat with loved ones via video calls with added assistant-type features.
We could go on highlighting every big update or launch that happened over the 2 fast-paced days in San Jose but we wanted to focus on the updates and releases we are most excited about at Master of Code.
We learned at F8 that there are now 40 million active businesses messaging people worldwide, and these interactions between organizations and customers are amounting to 20 billion messages each month!
With this ever-growing audience using Messenger, the platform will be going through a giant overhaul this year. Facebook announced they want to make Messenger, “the fastest private communication app on the planet.”
Called Messenger Litespeed, the app will shrink to under 30MB in size, down from its current 127+MB, and the company announced they are on the journey to offer end-to-end encryption, and later this year you will have the ability to call and message your friends and family on Instagram and WhatsApp, all from the Messenger platform.
The app will also contain a dedicated place for your closest connections. Post a status, view Stories, or share memories together.
Appointment Booking API
We were thrilled to see that Facebook recognizes that using chatbots for appointment bookings is an incredibly successful use case. We have built several appointment booking bots using custom backend integrations but thanks to the new Appointment Booking API, it will be easier for customers to book, schedule or register with their favourite businesses.
This dedicated solution can integrate with a business’ calendar system, allow users to add their booking to their favourite calendar and even send appointment reminders directly in the Messenger app. The functionality is currently in Beta but expect it to be released to everyone later this year.
The all-new Messenger will be end-to-end encrypted, under 30MB, which is about only 20% of its current size. The app will also be availabe as a dedicated Desktop app, so you won’t have to keep your browser tab open.
F8 brought many exciting updates for AR creators (like ourselves!). Over 1 billion people used AR experiences powered by Spark AR. Spark AR Studio now provides support for Windoes and features that further drive efficiency, interactivity and conrol to the AR creation process. Expect more elegant effects.
The platform now offers in-product testing, allowing creators to quickly test their experience in both Facebook or Instagram to speed up the creation and launch process.
Facebook also announced they will be opening up their beta for Instagram so now everyone can create and build AR effects for brands.
The message at F8 was clear: automation continues to grow and people are craving personal, immersive and connected experiences. At Master of Code, we’re thrilled to be part of the eco-system that gets to build them for brands worldwide.