What To Expect At Facebook F8 Conference: New Mobile Ad Network And App Development Tools

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Facebook Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) will host its first developer’s conference in three years in San Francisco on Wednesday, but this year’s F8 conference will feel a lot different than in 2011.

The focus then was on appealing to consumers, with CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg introducing two features--Timeline profiles and Open Graph -- that radically changed the way users interact with Facebook.

The 2014 F8 will instead focus on the programming side. Nearly every event at F8, which is divided into categories of “build, grow and monetize,” is about mobile -- not surprising given that 60 percent of the company’s ad revenue came from mobile ads.

Many expect the reveal of a new mobile advertising network, which TechCrunch said is called Facebook Audience Network, to be at the heart of the F8 conference. FAN will let developers use Facebook’s virtual treasure trove of personal information to build targeted advertising on non-Facebook apps and websites. Facebook will likely spend a lot of time convincing developers of the advantages of FAN to competing products from Google and Twitter.

In addition to building advertisements, Facebook will also teach developers how to use its slew of new development tools. Facebook acquired Parse, a company that provides tools to build mobile apps, in 2013, and GigaOm reported that it has since become the main toolkit for developing Facebook apps.   

Helping developers draw more users towards their apps will be another focus, ReadWrite predicted. The ads encouraging users to download apps were one of Facebook’s most profitable ad products in the first quarter of 2014.

Programmers may get a first look at Facebook’s international future. Innovation Lab will reportedly be on-site to allow users to test how apps perform in developing countries, and Zuckerberg is expected to outline how Internet.org will help developers reach countries that are new to the Internet.

“Two of my clients have over 50 million fans each spanning the globe on Facebook and the ability to focus our efforts to those [international] users is of great delight,” Keith McPherson, a consultant who is attending F8, told International Business Times. “We’re just getting started with the ways that we can engage with our audiences.”

Facebook still hasn’t said much about how the acquisition of Oculus VR fits into its strategy, but developers are hoping F8 will give them a chance to see how a social network could look in virtual reality..

The conference comes at a good moment for Zuckerberg: His company’s exceptional performance this quarter showed that Facebook mastered the shift to mobile.

 

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