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Facebook F8 Developer’s Conference Coverage

Facebook F8 Developer’s Conference Coverage

I was given the opportunity from my full time employer to attend Facebook’s 2011 F8 conference this past week and the experience was truly remarkable. I headed into this conference as I would any other social media conference, with skepticism that what I would hear would be fact based and not hype. This skepticism is rooted in my experiences over the past year and a half as a social media manger for a large national retailer, a position that grants me the luxury of being pitched every new piece of Software as a Service, SAAS, that comes along. I speak more about this in another post here.

The entrance to Facebook’s F8 and Zynga’s HQ in the background

Skepticism aside, I was filled with excitement as I walked through the doors of the event, housed in a gritty brick building in the SoMa district of San Francisco.  I knew from the beginning that this event was different than most social media conferences in that it was a developers conference, for the technically inclined, and should be filled with more web design geeks than mommy bloggers.  The number of Macbook Pro’s being brandished was evidence enough.

Being a designer at heart, and a former sign maker, I can say that the signage and other materials at the event were very impressive. The grid patterned used throughout the event showed a consistency and creativity that I immediately had respect for. However, the signage and print materials were pale in comparison to the amount of technical wizardry displayed in the lobby of the event. I was immediately handed a personalized book, complete with images of many of my Facebook friends lining the inside covers. A truly personal touch, made creepy by seeing my boss staring at me even this far away from the office. Included with the book was an RFID enabled card, one of the subtle technological advancements Facebook has discovered through their many HACKs. I explain more about the Facebook presence card and the amazing ways it interacts with physical objects, music, photos and games here.

Facebook F8 Wall of info

Once the show actually began I was again treated to a spectacle, this time it was a comedy show by And Samberg, a notorious Zuckerberg imposter from NBC’s SNL. When Mark finally appeared on stage the audience was well primed for something big, and he certainly delivered. What Mark announced on stage will forever change the internet as we know it. It is difficult to say that without sounding like a hype-ster myself, but it is something I truly believe, and this comes from my professional opinion as a person heavily entrenched in the industries of social media and ecommerce. The main announcements discussed the changes of profiles into Timelines (explained in more detail here: XXX), the upgrades to the Open Graph environment and app creation tools (explained in more detail here: XXX) and finally some in-depth looks into how Spotify and Netflix will be using this technology to change the way we consume content. All in all the presentation was an impressive series of slides, videos and facts.

The presence card enabled interactive infographic

Following the presentation were numerous breakout sessions allowing me and my colleagues a chance to divide and conquer, choosing the sessions that most closely aligned to our areas of interest. All of these were very well produced and provided sufficient examples and explanations of the new technology being released. There was even many opportunities for me to ask Facebook engineers and employees directly about some of the questions that had been burning in my mind for months now. It turns out there is no Facebook advertising quality score (who knew), and that they just use an estimated CTR to determine ad placement. I was also able to ask directly about Facebook Page post scheduling service, and the rumors of a white list of apps that benefit from the News Fed algorithm unfairly in my opinion. It was truly awesome to ask these questions in a room full of people and put the engineers on the spot about some pressing issues.

Zynga's HQ. How can he see me?

The work of the day being over, my friends and I gathered our thoughts and experiences and returned to the conference center later on to enjoy a rousing party full of great food and drinks, as well as a great show put on by the Crystal Castles, a pretty awesome band if you ask me. We even got a chance to check out Zynga’s new office and enjoy some food and drink on the house there as well. I’d be lying if I said that Zynga’s office didn’t remind me of the movie Grandma’s Boy a lot.

The Crystal Castles performance

I would highly recommend this conference to anyone in the social media application development industry. Even for a guy like me who mainly deals with the Page admin side of things it was an incredible chance to ask questions, learn more about the technology behind the scenes and enjoy camaraderie with people who share my passions and job requirements. If you have any questions about F8 or other conferences I invite you to send me an email at Mario@deisgnwhale.com.


About the Author

Mario Magliozzi

Mario currently manages a community of over 250,000 members on the Facebook page, Twitter accounts, and blogs of Build.com. Acting as the Build.com’s Social Media Manager, Mario manages all of the advertisements, content and technology behind Build.com’s growing social media strategy. Having built this community from the ground up, Mario is extremely knowledgeable of the current state of social media, it’s potential as a business driver, and it’s true capabilities regardless of the hype. Having graduated California State University Chico with a degree in Communication Design, and an emphasis in Graphic Design, Mario is uniquely positioned to be an efficient and powerful social media manager. When Mario isn’t working on increasing fan engagement, or advertising CTR’s, he is down in the workshop building custom motorcycles or out riding them in the hills of Northern California.

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