F8 Developer Conference – What Marketers Need to Know Now

Christine Göös

Marketing

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F8 is Facebook’s annual developer conference where they launch products and reveal what to expect from the social giant in 2018. We attended the two-day event in San Jose – and even had the honor to have our Co-Founder Kristo present our product vision on stage. You can watch the entire presentation here.

While some of the announcements fell deep into the category of futuristic (writing with your brain, listening through your skin, reconstructing childhood homes in VR), there were a number of fascinating marketing developments that brands should explore.

Value Optimization

Not all conversions have equal value, so optimizing campaigns for conversions may not yield the best results. At F8, Facebook publicly announced a new bidding optimization goal called Value Optimization. It allows advertisers to maximize their return on ad spend (ROAS) by optimizing based on value (i.e. revenue tracked by their Facebook pixel or SDK) within a given conversion window. Value optimization is available in Smartly.io as long as the advertiser’s ad sets and pixel setup fulfill the predefined criteria.

Mobile Apps: Facebook is Rolling out Codeless Event Setup

You read it right, no more code required to set up event tracking. This is huge as previously marketers have had to wait for developers to configure the events, push a new app version into the App Store, and wait (and hope) for the users to update the app. Now, all marketers need to do is configure the events in their Events Manager on Facebook’s Business Manager, choose what events they want to track, and consequently, optimize towards.

Instagram Stories

In the opening keynote of F8 Zuckerberg highlighted the shift towards Stories-first consumption. We wrote about Instagram Stories in depth in this post, but in essence, prepare to go vertical as a marketer. Whatsapp’s Status is an experience similar to Stories and already boasts 450 million daily users. Camera Effects for Instagram Stories is now in closed beta, meaning that content providers and brands could soon be able to offer customized face filters to their audiences.

The Future of Creative

Our CEO Kristo Ovaska presented our vision for the future of creative at F8 on Tuesday – in short, it is creative automation. Scaling personalized advertising is a must to drive performance online yet it is hardly feasible without creative tech. At Smartly.io we have a complete suite of creative tools that help brands create templates for both still and video creatives, plug them into their product catalogs or feeds, and automate customized ads at scale. Read more about creative automation here.

Playable Ads

Gaming advertisers often lead the pack in terms of adopting new, performance-driving strategies and ad formats. Playable Ads is a new interactive ad format that allows gamers to try out a game before installing it, meaning advertisers get higher intent installs and better ROAS. Facebook has been testing playable ads with a few dozen game developers, including some that work with Smartly.io. The format is already available for whitelisted advertisers.

Augmented Reality Meets Messenger

Imagine trying a new piece of furniture in your home, taking a picture of it in context, and then sharing it with your friends for opinions. Facebook is bringing augmented reality to Messenger. While the solution is still in its infancy, Nike has already done its first ever shoe drop on Messenger where you could see the AR version of the product, take pictures, share with your friends, and buy via Messenger. It requires expertise and resources to venture into displaying products in augmented reality. Yet, as with everything in marketing, there is a first-mover advantage to innovating in the space.