F8 kicked off just a few hours ago, and thanks to the live stream, and the keynote already available, we can all observe the latest news from Facebook from the comfort of our homes. So, although we might have guessed a lot of the news, here's what we've got so far.
The Rise of the ChatBots
Developers everywhere are waiting to take advantage of the next big opportunity in mobile; building on top of the success of Messenger, as we were frequently reminded, the second most popular app on iOS (with Facebook taking first place). This was the piece of news that everyone expected, and Zuckerberg delivered.
The idea is that you can buy something online, make a reservation or anything else that you might have done over the phone, from within the Messenger app. Instead of needing a myriad of apps, the Messenger app will be a new platform. His demonstration included a bot from 1-800-FLOWERS, with the added irony that "you never have to call 1-800-FLOWERS again".
While the examples might seem to have novelty value, there is a serious side to this, with many expecting this to be the biggest goldrush since Apple opened up the iOS App Store. The best thing of all, is that you can start right now.
The Messenger platform will also allow developers to build apps, to make conversations better. First you'll be able to install services to enhance how you communicate, using additions such JibJab, allowing you to add fun gifs.
Easier Logins With AccountKit
Don't even get me started about logins - there are so many barriers, that I'm amazed that people get through to using apps sometimes. AccountKit is going to give you a lot of new ways to login, and you don't even need a Facebook account.
You can sign in with your phone number or email address, and don't need to include anything else. Yes, Twitter have launched something like this with Digits a while back. However, Facebook already has critical mass as a login solution for apps across the world.
There's lots more announced, but these are the headline items. Most interesting to developers will be Graph API v2.6, improved analytics and an improved app dashboard.
If you want your apps to be ahead of the game, take note of what's being discussed at this conference.