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The future is private. This is the roadmap that Facebook laid out very clearly during the keynote at F8 this year. There will be much written in the coming days on what that means for users, marketers, and Facebook’s impact on society as a whole, but let’s not forget there are always two sides to F8: the keynote, which everyone talks about, and the conference itself, where exciting new developments in technology are revealed.

F8: Then and Now

This is our fourth year going to F8 and, looking back at 2016, you can make the case that Facebook looked very different. VidMob most certainly did!

In 2016, Facebook announced Live, 360 video experiences, Save to Facebook and the future of connecting through VRall to make the “world more open and connected.” As for VidMob, our platform was built around two applications, our Editor Suite, the workflow tool for editors, and our iOS application, the app for users to create video projects from media on their device and hire video editors from our marketplace.

Today, Facebook is shifting from global connections to more personal and private connections. VidMobs Agile Creative Studio, which has shifted to combine AI-generated creative data with our creator marketplace, was featured on stage at F8 during Vatsal Mehtas session on Facebook Marketing Partners.

Beyond the Keynote: Innovations at Scale

For me, F8 is about everything that happens after the keynote. The two days of sessions and workshops provide a unique insight into how Facebook executes on its vision, the value they see in their partners to build better experiences, and what engineering at scale looks like.

Just as our business has evolved over the four years, my attention at F8 has shifted. Our first F8 reinforced our belief that video was going to become the new communication channel. It led us to focus on how could we leverage Facebooks network effects to drive more users to VidMob to create content and build that into our product. The growth of our product has shaped my focus to include how Facebook thinks about digital experiences, AI, the innovations being developed around them, and how they execute on that at scale.

Buried within the details of the keynote announcement of the new, updated camera experiences in Instagram, and desktop versions of Messenger, are incredible innovations in the technology supporting these products. ReactJS has long been a popular Facebook Open Source project that we use for our web applications and is the framework that will power the new The developments being made here in combination with other Facebook Open Source projects like Relay and GraphQL provide an excellent model for not only building great experiences but how to do so across a rapidly growing engineering organization like ours. They are also able to use their weight to introduce new browser APIs, such as isInputPending, solving a significant responsiveness issue with long-running JavaScript blocks.

Opportunities in Facebook Open Source

As VidMob pushes into new markets, we will start to prioritize localization, so it was exciting to hear about a new open source project, FBT,  which is a framework for internationalizing user interfaces in JavaScript. When companies like Facebook have the resources to solve the tough challenges in these areas and make them available to the greater developer community, everyone benefits.

Finally, creative engagement will drive this adoption of a more living roomfocused experience. The advancements that are being made using AI for Spark AR Studio gives creators an entirely new canvas to work with combining feature tracking, object and location detection, and sound design. It is easy to see how these new experiences will drive participation within the living room communities.

As a technology and creative company, its hard not to be inspired by the sessions during F8. It is initiatives like these and many more that don’t always make the keynote but can fundamentally change how we develop our platform, our content, and drive new value for our users.


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