F8 2018 kicked off today in San Jose in what is arguably the most tumultuous moment in the company's 14 year old history. It is still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there are enquiries into privacy by several governments and the recent quitting of the WhatsApp co-founder and CEO - a company they bought for $19B.
In spite of all this, Facebook still delivered on F8. An annual developer conference for its ecosystem developers and partners. Ultimately, F8 is a moment for the company to share all the cool stuff that they've been building and this year was no different.
Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg got the show running with his Keynote address where the theme was clearly about building tools to keep people safe. He covered several high level points:
- Protecting Electoral Integrity
- Fighting Fake News
- Data Privacy
He also announced several updates and features to Facebook platform products such as:
- Clearer and simpler tools for managing privacy on Facebook including Clearing History (More like how you delete your browsing history and cookies on a web browser). This feature will be rolled out in the next few months.
- Dating functionality directly within Facebook (Some competition coming up for Tinder here...Your dating profile will only be visible to people who are not your friends on your Facebook profile and have opted to find love (or longterm relationships) on FaceDate)
- Tools to help managers of groups. In addition to that you will will soon be able to make video calls in group chats!
- Oculus GO - a standalone VR app. Link
- WhatsApp for Business App and pilots for large enterprises. We wrote about this some time back, you can read further here.
- Instagram's redesign of its Explore tab. It will also launch a video chat and a filter to protect users from bullies' comments.
What does this mean for Ongair Users?
The first point of relief is that we can now connect new Facebook users to the platform, after a month long pause in new approvals.
We can also safely say that we're closer than ever to getting an official way for Businesses to use WhatsApp via some form of an API. WhatsApp for Business (the Android app for SMEs) has over 3 million users so far in just a few months since its launch.
One last thing...
Ongair CEO, Trevor Kimenye, takes to the stage on the second day of F8, talking about the journey of starting and building Ongair to where it is today. Thank you for being a part of that story. A toast to continuing to work together and seeing even more advancements!