What Advertisers Can Learn from Facebook’s F8 Conference

Since Facebook’s first F8 conference a decade ago, the annual event has evolved into a full-fledged phenomenon—a “were you there?” kind of moment—dedicated to the latest and greatest from Facebook.

From a high level, F8 is Facebook’s way to celebrate its global developer community, highlight how technology can drive businesses forward, and how it’ll evolve.

For advertisers, there’s an equally compelling angle. By reading between the lines, they can look ahead and see how Facebook’s evolution will impact their world.

An Extra Layer of Privacy

F8 wasn’t all about technology. Arguably the loudest message was that it’s upping its game on privacy. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, went as far as to say that “the future is private.” For users, these changes will manifest themselves in a way that promotes more private settings away from the News Feed in lieu of one-to-one communication through groups and stories.

For advertisers, the implications aren’t immediately clear. On the surface, it could mean less reach. Added encryption and less data could also suppress targeting capabilities. At the same time, a tighter lid may lead to higher adoption and engagement rates from users, which is an idea every advertiser can get behind.

Bringing its Family of Apps Under One Roof

Maybe the biggest shakeup coming to Facebook’s core technology is the anticipated integration of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

For the billions of users across these apps, the end result will be a unified technical infrastructure that’ll make seamless communication across ecosystems possible. For advertisers, a more streamlined platform could create more appeal with a larger audience, which would lead to better engagement, and at the end of the day, boosted ad performance.

More Ways for Businesses to Win with Messenger

The push to align Messenger with the business world isn’t new, so the idea of lead generation templates shouldn’t be a surprise either. Nor should a new appointment booking interface built into Messenger.

From an advertising angle, the implications are pretty straightforward as well. With new features and capabilities making communication easier, there will be an even bigger opportunity to close the communication gap with consumers through a more personalized experience.

Another Step Toward Social Commerce on Instagram

Just like Messenger for businesses shouldn’t be a surprise, neither should shopping centricity on Instagram. For some time, Instagram has offered advertisers the opportunity to share featured products through organic posts and Stories.

Building off a big push toward commerce during the 2018 holiday season that included the ability to save products via a collections tab, Instagram announced that it was launching a beta shopping program to test the ability to shop, check out, and manage orders within the app. With social commerce referrals on the rise, reducing the friction in the buying process can mean a big win for Instagram and advertisers.

For a world consumed by everything Facebook, F8 is more than a conference—it’s ingrained into the culture and a “must-see” attraction. For advertisers, F8 is also an opportunity to look ahead and a chance to plan for the future of social advertising—a future we know will continue to play a big part in the lives of consumers and advertisers alike.