Facebook Opens Messenger for App Developers

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Announces Analytics For Apps.

Facebook wants to make its Messenger instant-messaging service — which it claims now has more than 600 million monthly active users worldwide — into a media platform encompassing video and other content, with ESPN and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot among its nearly 50 partners.As if turning Facebook Messenger into a Platform and laying the groundwork for virtual reality video on the News Feed weren’t enough, Facebook just announced Analytics for Apps, a new tool for marketers who want to better target campaigns based on aggregated social data.Company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the technology on Wednesday morning, during his keynote at Facebook’s annual developer conference in San Francisco, saying these videos are shot with 24 cameras working in concert. “You can move around inside the video,” he said, “and view it from different angles.” The company is demonstrating these videos for attendees at this week’s conference—showing off a 24-camera-view of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California—and the plan, Zuckerberg says, is to eventually get this kind of “immersive, 360-degree video experience” into your Facebook News Feed.

The upgraded Facebook Messenger app will add a wider range of video, voice and location-sharing capabilities, the company announced at its F8 developers’ conference Wednesday. According to Facebook, the more than 1.3 billion people its on social network view more than 3 billion videos on the service each day, and now it hopes to push these users towards this new breed of video.

That’s for two reasons: For one, with the acquisitions in recent years of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, among others, Facebook simply has a lot more products and services–or platforms, to use the customary software jargon–on which to build. In an example on stage at F8, Facebook demonstrated how a company could compare how marketing campaigns were performing across different demographics. The social network (and doesn’t that term sound way too limited by now?) has essentially promised each of its major services will have something new to offer. Instead of looking at who simply clicked on an ad in Facebook, you’ll be able to see how far different groups got in the sales process, so you could change up your strategy to introduce more products that might appeal to a lagging group or focus on the demographic that requires the least effort to land a conversion.

The app’s composer bar is expanding to give users access to more than 40 new apps — ones for GIFs, video, audio, and more — in order to “enhance” their conversations. It already appears to have leaked hints of a couple of announcements involving software development for the Internet of Things and possibly the Oculus virtual-reality system. The move bolsters the value Facebook provides to marketers, who already heavily rely on the company’s ads to get users into their phone and tablet apps as well as to get them back after that first install. Among other partnerships, Facebook’s Messenger will show users the best sports moments of the day from ESPN, said David Marcus, Facebook VP of messaging products. Much like Google, with its Google Glass eyewear, and Microsoft, with its Hololens headset, Facebook believes the future internet will rely heavily on virtual reality and “augmented reality”—where the digital enhances what we see around us here in the real world.

Plus, as Gartner analyst Brian Blau points out, the specialized hardware needed to produce these videos will limit how prevalent they are. “Is this for consumer creators or professionals?” Blau asks. Video will likely play a role in our VR future, Blau tells WIRED, but in the beginning, the Oculus and the Samsung Gear VR will be used primarily for games. It showed off games and digitally-created virtual worlds—a gothic hall where a 3D dinosaur turns the corner and walks toward you, a city street where soldiers of the future battle some sort of angry robot. He thinks it can become a really important communications tool for the whole world beyond simple text messages: photos, video, stickers, location, voice calling–it accounts for more than 10% of mobile VOIP calling worldwide now.

A couple things that can be done on it: First is giving people more tools for expression, by expanding the options of sharing content from other apps. He shows the ability to access lots of gifs through an app, which can be sent to friends through Messenger; if they don’t have the app, they are prompted to download and install it. It’s also cross-device, meaning you can see whether you have separate people using each device or lots of people use multiple devices to use a particular app.

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