F8 2019 took place on April 30th & May 1st 2019 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA:
2019 marks Facebook’s 10th F8. What started as an 8-hour hackathon has evolved into a 2-day event for developers, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.
Note: the “F8” name (pronounce “eff eight”) is a reference to the traditional 8-hour hackathons held at Facebook.
Both Loomly Co-Founders Noémie & Thibaud Clément attended F8 2019 and below are their main takeaways for brands & marketing teams.
This article is not meant to be an exhaustive summary of the entire conference, but rather a high-level analysis of the direction the Facebook ecosystem is taking and the resulting opportunities for businesses. You can find all announcements made during the conference here and all videos from keynotes and sessions are available here.
Available on Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp (under the name Status), Stories were one of the heroes of the conference. That’s only fair, given the staggering stats that speak for themselves, presented by the Facebook Team in a session titled Spotlight on Stories: Creative Considerations for Effective Stories Ads:
It’s no surprise then that, in that same session, the Facebook Team made it clear that Stories were far from being a fad and were here to stay: in fact, the long-term potential impact of Stories was even compared to the one of News Feed.
What’s in it for brands: with a full-screen, distraction-free and immersive format (which is rare on mobile), Stories — and Stories Ads — allow marketing teams to inspire their audiences to take gesture-based CTAs (swipe up) and trigger direct-response outcomes. Coupled with the power of Facebook’s targeting, audience reach and measurement solutions, this is a new virgin territory with endless possibilities.The Loomly Team is working on exciting updates related to Stories, to be announced shortly. Stay tuned.
More than 400 million people are members of meaningful Facebook groups, which enable them to get together in person as well as online. In an effort to “make communities as central as friends”, the Facebook team is introducing FB5, a fresh new design for Facebook that’s simpler and puts communities at the center of the experience.
This new major version of Facebook — the biggest change that has been made in the last five years — aims at making it a lot easier for users to find and connect to Groups that they are interested in. This is a significant step towards an interest-centric social platform.
What’s in it for brands:
Pages can join Facebook groups and participate in group discussions, all in the Page voice that is representative of their brand, business, or organization. Pages can enrich and contribute to group discussions by engaging with members, sharing content and events relevant to the communities, and serving as subject matter experts on shared interests.
Loomly already allows you to create, preview, approve and publish posts to Facebook Groups: learn more here.
Messaging is a key component of social interactions:
This puts into perspective what Asha Sharma, who leads the Messenger product team, announced on Day 1 during the Keynote:
We believe that people should be able to choose to talk to anyone, anywhere without thinking about where to reach them. So, for the first time, we are building the ability for Messenger users to be able to call and message, not just their friends on Facebook, but their close friends and family on Instagram and on WhatsApp.
On top of that, the functionalities of each app are growing:
What’s in it for brands: this is a significant opportunity to expand the reach of private customer interactions with businesses and then transform online conversations into in-store experiences.Loomly Interactions lets you respond to your Facebook Messenger messages & Instagram comments: learn more here.
Historically, the Facebook ecosystem has been a great place to discover brands — either organically or through ads — and consume their content. More recently, the Facebook family of apps has been making a very interesting move in the direction of commerce and transactions.
What’s in it for brands: the Facebook ecosystem is progressively becoming a new sales channel, appearing as an alternative and a complement to Shopify, Etsy & Amazon for businesses. Most importantly, this provides brands with the opportunity to cover the entire consumer journey, from discovery to transaction and shipping, all within one platform, reducing abandonment and tracking issues.
What emerges very clearly from F8 2019, is the ambition of Facebook as a company, through their entire family of apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram & WhatsApp — to become a single-destination platform empowering brands and businesses to reach out to communities, create and publish content, find customers, sell products and interact with them in a one-to-one way.
At Loomly, we are more convinced than ever that for Facebook, the future is private, and for brands, the future is Facebook. As a brand success platform, our mission is to provide marketing teams with the tools and resources they need to succeed online. We are committed to developing new features allowing our customers to make the most of the Facebook ecosystem, today and tomorrow, and we have exciting new announcements coming your way very soon: stay tuned.