f8 Speculation: What Will be Announced?

This month is one of anticipation. The first full week of July is the week that everybody is waiting for the new iPhone to be released. With the new iPhone application directory preparing to be launched, the device is set to transform the social web as well as mobile gaming. Within weeks there is another event that many in this industry are anticipating: f8. Last year’s event helped spawn an entire industry around social applications.

This year is expected to a pretty big one as well. Many are now speculating what will be announced at the upcoming f8 event. So far there appears to be three large things to come out of the event.

1. Launch of Facebook Connect
Facebook recently announced their Facebook Connect service which extends the Facebook platform to the entire web. MySpace was the first to launch a similar service but little buzz has been generated since the launch more than a week ago. I see a huge potential for the new Facebook Connect service and I expect a lot of external websites to start using the service. Simply put, not all activities on the web can happen in Facebook and that’s why Facebook Connect is being launched: to make the whole web more social.

2. Launch of Facebook Payment Platform
While Facebook has made no promises about this launching at f8, most of us are expecting it. I have even suggested that the payment platform will be Facebook’s answer to the monetization problem, helping them to boost their valuation overnight. Also, if their payment platform is as easy to develop with as the application platform, there’s a great chance that it will be a huge hit with developers.

3. Updated Mobile Platform
The iPhone launches this week and while there is a lot of buzz about the new applications, many have been wondering why Facebook doesn’t have a better mobile platform. While there are currently ways to build mobile applications, it is simply not as easy or enjoyable to develop as the Facebook general platform is. Jesse Stay speculates about a new mobile platform release. I know for a fact that Facebook has been working on an updated iPhone offering but I don’t know how robust that new offering is yet. I have a feeling that we’ll learn more at the f8 announcement.

This appears to be the three big announcements to come out of the f8 event later this month. Are there any other announcements that you wish to speculate about?