At its F8 conference today, Facebook revealed its plans for the next 10 years.
It’s divided into 3 main sections:
- improving Facebook ecosystem over the next 3 years;
- strengthening Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and other products over the next five years; and
- developing virtual reality, AI and worldwide connectivity over the next 10 years.
Though the event is still unfolding, Facebook – like Microsoft – emphasized the importance of robots in the coming years, announcing the Messenger Platform API for businesses to build their own virtual assistants. No, not robots in the traditional sense, but virtual chat bots that live inside Facebook Messenger, which the social networking giant launched as a separate app in 2014. The company today announced Messenger Platform, which lets customers communicate with businesses live, in the moment, via bots. It simultaneously opened up a new API for developers to build their own bots for Messenger.
“We think you should just be able to message a business in the same way you’d message a friend,” Zuckerberg said. “You shouldn’t have to install a new app.”
Interestingly, the company also mentioned plans for augmented reality, when so far its only focused on virtual reality with its Oculus products. The company said future headsets would be the size of a normal pair of glasses and would be able to handle augmented and virtual reality at the same time.
The company also reinforced its efforts to ‘connect the world,’ including releasing a simulator for its Free Basics program. Zuckerberg also showed off part of the company’s drone airplane, which uses lasers to bring the Web to places with poor connectivity.
Still, the roadmap is mostly made up of things the company has been known to be working on, but Facebook’s sure to reveal more specifics over the course of F8.