While once a glorified excuse to update the timeline, F8 has since emerged into a real developer conference complete with exciting feature updates and loads of innovation.
Today, a lot of the excitement revolved around video, and it became clear that Facebook is ready to put its money where its mouth is when aiming to compete with the likes of YouTube and Periscope.
It started with the announcement of its live video hub that seems to remove the need for services like Periscope altogether.
Periscope, after all, is truly a one-trick pony.
If Facebook can succeed in swallowing its userbase by offering more compelling features in addition to archival of live footage and no longer having to leave Facebook to use another app, Periscope is doomed.
Facebook, after all, is a platform where most celebrities — either internet or otherwise — news organizations, and businesses are presumably already maintaining a presence.
Not having to cross-promote or double marketing efforts sounds like a win-win for everyone involved.
Of course, live video isn’t a new thing at Facebook.
We’ve seen the company do all it can to amp up one of its newer features by making live broadcasts more visible on your timeline, adding them to your trending stories and even notifying you each time a friend or someone you follow is broadcasting live.
All of these are positive steps to give content producers real reason to take advantage of live video.
Then we have YouTube.
With an interface that made it difficult for users to actually find video, while at the same time doing nothing to entice creators to publish more content due to lax copyright enforcement and difficulty in tracking video performance across multiple pages, the idea of Facebook competing with YouTube was truly a laughable one.
Well, it’s fixed the video search issue and F8 gave us all a sneak peek into a future that shows Facebook as a truly determined company that’s ready to take on video.
Facebook’s new ‘Rights Manager‘ allows video creators to manage usage rules, find new instances of copyright violators and whitelist pages allowed to use your content. It’s a huge step forward that addresses one of the biggest gripes among creators.
In addition, ‘Total Performance Insights‘ brings even better analytics to video including two really outstanding features: the ability to measure stats on video crossposted to multiple pages and a heatmap that allows 360 degree video creators to see the areas their audiences are honing in on.
And speaking of 360 degree video, Facebook even has a solution there in its newly announced ‘Surround 360.’ Granted, it costs $30,000 and you’ll have to build it yourself, but a 17 lens array capable of shooting 8k video is certainly enough to get you at least a little excited about the future of video on Facebook, is it not?