Facebook app leaks F8 news about Parse, Messenger, ‘teleportation station’

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook F8 App Confirms Messenger As A Platform, Parse For IoT.

Messenger is rumoured to be receiving updates that will allow users to search through conversations and make changes to photos. Facebook’s app for its F8 developer conference stole some of the show’s thunder by sending out, ahead of the event, a notification that revealed what products will most likely be discussed. “F8: Just revealed: Parse of IoT, Messenger as a Platform, and the Teleportation Station,” read the message, which several people posted to Twitter.Facebook may have paid $19bn for WhatsApp last year, but its Messenger app is expected to take centre stage at the social network’s F8 conference on Wednesday.

Facebook on Wednesday will kick off a two-day conference, aimed at collaborating with thousands of developers on new features for its social network and apps. Facebook, whose stock hit a new record yesterday, closing at $85.46, made two high-profile acquisitions in the last year, buying the virtual-reality startup Oculus VR for $2 billion and paying a whopping $19 billion for the messaging app WhatsApp. The event, held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, will delve into a variety of topics including video, virtual reality and Facebook’s popular Messenger app. We reached out to Facebook about the exact meaning of the notification, and the company has “nothing to add on this.” Pointedly, no denial or note that this is a hoax. With WhatsApp, it gains a younger user base, and both these companies could help Facebook gain a foothold in China, where the social network is currently banned.

According to PandoDaily, 30 companies will be partners in the first phase of the new project, “many of which are focused on gifs, emoji, and multimedia creation”. Facebook previously said that all its major products would see announcements at F8, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, along with Parse and Messenger. The report names Giphy, Kaomoji and JibJab as potentially part of that initial group of partners, while a fourth company – video broadcasting app Meerkat – has denied it will be part of the announcement. Judging by the notification’s text, it may have accidentally been sent early when it should have gone out mid-day tomorrow after the F8 keynote from 10am-11am PST when the major product announcements will be made.

And on the heels of announcing a new feature that lets users send money over Facebook Messenger, there’s speculation that Facebook will turn its chat app into a platform for third-party apps. According to a recently published screenshot, Facebook also appears to be working on an Android app called Phone that shows information about incoming calls and ignores calls from commonly blocked numbers. Facebook also worked with a number of streaming music companies – Spotify most prominently – on features to help their users share details of their listening to Facebook. If this is actually an accidental but legit Facebook message, it points to the company yet again expanding its horizons to consider how and where it could enable communications between people beyond its core Facebook platform. Four years on, and it is Messenger – which has more than 500 million monthly active users – that could fuel a new raft of partnerships for Facebook, which has clearly been watching developments around messaging apps like WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk in Asia closely.

As is common with such conferences, Facebook will be making a strong case for why developers should build and monetize their apps on its platform, as opposed to competitors such as Yahoo, Apple, Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. BuzzFeed, for example, is working with messaging apps including Snapchat, WeChat, Tango and Viber, albeit more around running an official profile that links to its news, rather than building apps for them.

Any such deals are more likely to be based around its main news feed rather than the Messenger app, although it is possible they could also be announced at F8. And given that today is actually the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, this could be a ripe moment to open up the platform to more input from developers. (There is also a more prosaic option: the “teleportation” hinted at here could refer to developers having a better way of simulating apps.

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