In case you haven’t been following along with the tech news last week, April 18th & 19th, 2017 were all about Facebook’s F8 conference. What is F8? It’s Facebook’s annual global developer conference. This year, the conference was held at the McEnery Convention Centre, in San Jose, California. The conference hosts an opportunity for developers and businesses, alike, to come together and peek at what sorts of technology lies in wait for the coming year. It also allows Facebook to showcase its newest products and innovations. This year, one of the biggest tech giants in the space took on VR and AR by introducing React Fiber, React VR, and the Camera Effects platform.
When Facebook first launched their Stories feature, they received more than a fair amount of criticism for their flagrant copying of Snapchat. What nobody except Mark Zuckerberg and a team at Facebook knew was that they were laying the groundwork for a much, much bigger project; the Camera Effects platform. The platform is simply this: create fun digital effects for the Facebook in-app camera, be it a simple photo frame or a more complex and stunning augmented reality experience. And whereas Snapchat broke ties in 2015 and no longer accepts work from outside developers, Facebook is actively encouraging any and all developers to develop content for this new project. Zuckerberg stated, “the first augmented reality platform that becomes mainstream isn’ going to be glasses, it’s going to be cameras.” TechCrunch is even going so far as to claim that the AR gold rush is currently afoot. Because there are few noteworthy augmented reality startups as of yet, “whoever establishes themselves as capable of commanding people’s attention with this new medium will have businesses throwing money at them to build branded AR experiences.” For now, however, the platform is solely for user enjoyment. Facebook wants to focus on making the new platform as enjoyable an experience as possible before they invite businesses to participate with monetized content.