Facebook Messenger is now open for business

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook F8: How the social networking giant plans to take over your online life.

This should make your Facebook newsfeed a bit more interesting: Facebook is going to roll out support for 360-degree videos inside of its native video player. The social network announced that users will be able to view videos filmed with multiple cameras, and move the viewpoint in order to explore a location.SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc on Wednesday opened up its Messenger service for developers to create apps and for consumers to communicate directly with retailers, in the social media network’s latest effort to expand its reach.SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is trying to mold its Messenger app into a more versatile communications channel as smartphones create new ways for people to connect with friends and businesses beyond the walls of the company’s ubiquitous social network.

The push to transform Facebook’s messaging service into one that operates independently of the company’s social media network comes as it faces intensifying competition from Twitter Inc and Google Inc, as well as from fast-growing messaging apps such as Snapchat and WeChat. Moving from being a single service to a family of apps is the biggest shift we’ve made in our strategy in helping connect people.” Also launched was the Messenger Platform, a service that will allow developers to build new services into the app which is used by 600 million people each month. Normally when you buy stuff online, you have to keep track of lots of different emails from the retailer – from purchase confirmation, shipping confirmation, delivery updates etc.

It’s a better way to do it than having to pick up the phone, according to Zuckerberg. “I don’t know anyone who likes calling businesses; it’s not fast and it doesn’t feel like the future,” he said. Forty different apps will be available on Messenger in the coming days, allowing users of the service to send each other sports clips and animations, Facebook said. If you want to check on the status of an item, you usually have to click a link and log into a website using credentials you probably can’t remember.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted the Messenger expansion Wednesday during his opening speech at a two-day conference for developers in San Francisco. Another feature will allow consumers to use Messenger to send a text message to make a restaurant reservation or to receive a notification that a product purchased online has shipped. “We want to reinvent the way people and businesses are communicating,” David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, said at the conference. “Lots of companies have tried to build chat services and a bunch of other things but they’re not that good.”

If it wants the Oculus Rift to take off, it’s going to have to give people a reason to want to buy one — and 360-degree video, at the very least, is a reason. If you have Facebook open on another tab on your computer, it will automatically link your online purchase to your Facebook account – no entering passwords or email addresses. Here’s what a 360-degree video currently looks like on YouTube (you can change your view by dragging around or using the controls in the corner): Facebook also unveiled a new way to embed its videos onto other sites today. Marcus also spoke of Facebook’s desire to revolutionise online shopping, allowing users to receive real-time updates on their orders sent to them via Messenger. It’s doing this by sharing information about cyber attacks with other major technology companies – including Netflix, Microsoft and Yahoo – through something called ThreatExchange.

This will start a message thread with the brand a user has shopped with, so customers can track and alter an order via an instant message conversation. The F8 Developer Conference, which is being attended by more than 3,000 Facebook app developers, and is also the social network’s only major live show of the year.

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