Mark Zuckerberg has noted that augmented reality is Facebook’s “Act 2.”The CEO announced plans to use smartphone cameras to display virtual items in the real world. His company also unveiled a beta for tools allowing outside developers to build AR applications for the platform. Rival Snapchat meanwhile rolled out 3D artwork users can add to their snaps.
On yes, the social media powerhouse, Facebook, has laid out its vision for the future , revealing new tools and features during its annual F8 developers conference. Four technologies will drive this future and they are augmented reality (AR), messenger bots. Facebook Spaces, and Developer Circles.
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off Tuesday’s conference, he emphasized that the camera would play a larger role in how people interact with friends on the social network. Facebook is encouraging developers to build new augmented reality camera effects for Facebook, which will be launching in a closed beta starting immediately. Eventually, dozens of AR-powered effects, like masks and frames, will be available within the Facebook app’s camera.
Ever since Facebook acquired virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion in 2014, Zuckerberg has said that he sees VR as the future of social interaction. Facebook unveiled its first major step in that direction on Tuesday with Facebook Spaces, an app that makes it possible to spend time with friends in virtual reality.
New Messenger features
Facebook’s selection of chat bots has quickly grown since the company opened its Messenger platform to developers, but there hasn’t been an easy way to find new bots. Facebook is addressing that issue by adding a new Discover tab accessible from the home screen. Here, Messenger will offer categories, recently used bots, trending bots, and a search field..
Facebook is hoping to make its platform attractive for the next generation of app creators through its new Developer Circles initiative. The program is free and open to any developer, and will function as a forum for collaborating and sharing knowledge. Local developers will lead each circle by organizing offline events and managing a Facebook Group for that specific region. The company is pushing it as an opportunity for students and experienced coders alike. Facebook will also partner with Udacity to create custom training programs for Developer Circles.