F8 2016: All of the New Tools for Developers and Publishers

Facebook introduced several new tools for developers and publishers at its F8 global developers’ conference in San Francisco this weekend.

Facebook introduced several new tools for developers and publishers at its F8 global developers’ conference in San Francisco this weekend.

Account Kit

Account Kit gives developers a way to allow users to login to their applications with their phone numbers or email addresses and to register for their apps without creating passwords, making the process simpler for users and hopefully boosting engagement for developers.

Features for developers include a customizable user interface, access to rich and aggregated analytics and the option for users to receive Facebook notifications to complete the login process, as an alternative to text messages.

Software development engineer Olga Kuznetsova wrote in a blog post:

Most people find remembering passwords difficult, so Account Kit gives people the option to log into new apps with just a few taps using only their phone number or email address. There’s no need for a user name and password. People can use Account Kit without sharing any information from their Facebook profile—they don’t even need a Facebook account to use it. By removing these major barriers to entry, Account Kit helps you increase your sign-ups and expand your audience.

Account Kit is simple and quick to implement for both new and established apps, so you can focus on building your core product instead of creating a login system and handling password storage. Account Kit is built on Facebook’s infrastructure—as technology, systems and devices change, we’ll update Account Kit to help keep your app’s on-boarding flow current. We support SMS login for over 230 countries and regions, in more than 40 languages. Your app can use Account Kit to send up to 100,000 confirmation SMS per month at no charge to you.


Cross-posted videos and total performance insights

Facebook introduced several new ways for videos to be cross-posted on pages owned by the same Business Manager, as well as insights for those videos.


Product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza shared the details in a blog post:

First, page owners can now give other pages in their Business Manager permission to reuse a video. This option appears on the new “Permissions” tab in the video upload or edit window. Clicking that tab and flipping on the “Allow” switch gives other pages in the Business Manager permission to reuse that video.


Once permission to reuse a video has been granted, any page in that same Business Manager can create new posts with the video without having to re-upload it.


If a video has been cross-posted, page owners of the page that initially uploaded the video will be able to see metrics for each post in which the video has been reused, as well as aggregate metrics for the video across all those posts.

Page admins who reuse another page’s video will only see metrics for the posts they created, as well as a “Total Performance” line that helps them compare metrics on their posts to the video’s totals.


Publisher tools for 360-degree videos

In addition to the Facebook Surround 360 camera system the social network introduced at F8, it also announced an improved user interface, a heading indicator and a heat map for publishers.

Partner product lead for 360 videos Paul Beddoe-Stephens and Brad Ferry, who handles strategic partnerships for 360 videos, described the new tools in a Facebook Media blog post:

First, we’re improving the user interface for people when they see 360 video on Facebook. Now, when people discover a 360 video in News Feed, a new gyroscope animation tells them that the content is different. Moreover, a helper animation prompts people to move their phone if they don’t tap the video or move their device within four seconds. This improved UI lets publishers concentrate on creating compelling videos without needing to add instructional text.

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