As more and more of the news world gets pulled into that little blue app on your phone, what goes on at F8 is increasingly important for those involved in the production of news. Here are some of the news-oriented highlights from the event:
A bot platform for Facebook Messenger
As predicted, Zuckerberg announced a developer platform that lets companies (including news companies) create bots that interact with Messenger users. One of the two sample bots he showed off was from CNN — a news digest with a carousel of stories, each of which you can choose to interact with (“Read story,” “Get a summary,” and “Ask CNN” are the three options shown — it’s unclear what Ask CNN leads to). Zuckerberg also noted that the app will learn from your actions and personalise its content mix over time.
It’s the next step down the long road of distributed content, for better or worse. In case you’re doubting the scale of the opportunity (or this shift), Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp now process 60 billion messages a day, three times more than SMS did at its peak.
Publishers, including Business Insider and The Wall Street Journal, started announcing their own bots shortly after the announcement.
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