Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his keynote at the company’s annual F8 Developers Conference in 2011. (Via Reuters).
Someone in the Facebook headquarters has slippery fingers.
Early Wednesday morning, the company sent out a push alert through its F8 conference app that mistakenly leaked some of the event’s major announcements. (Maybe they should have used Slingshot?) The message revealed Facebook’s plans to integrate with Internet-connected home devices and make its Messenger app a platform. It also referenced a mystery product called the “Teleportation Station,” according to screenshots published by TechCrunch.
A notification sent out via Facebook’s conference app in the wee hours of the morning (Via TechCrunch)
The slip, which comes just hours before the social network’s sixth major developer’s conference on Wednesday morning, hints at several new areas of focus for the company.
“Parse for IoT,” for instance, refers to a company that Facebook bought in 2013. Parse provides the core operational elements of an app, so that developers can build whatever pretty thing they want on top of that foundation. Facebook has apparently chosen to extend this paid service for anyone who wants to create Facebook-centric smart devices. We’ll likely hear more details of this program today, though it’s hard to imagine what business a smart coffee maker or Wi-Fi jump rope has in alerting you of a Facebook friend’s birthday.
The idea of Facebook Messenger as a platform, however mundane, may mean big things for the harried app. TechCrunch’s Josh Constine broke news of these rumors last week, explaining, “Facebook hopes to make Messenger more useful after seeing Asia’s chat apps WeChat and Line succeed as platforms that go beyond just texting with friends.” Theoretically, non-Facebook entities will be able to build features that allow for their content and tools to be used directly within the app. This could mean anything from sleeker sharing of webpages to enhanced Pusheen-like animations. Perhaps a new arsenal of capabilities will finally be enough to make people forget they were forced to use it in the first place.
When it comes to the mysterious Teleportation Station, no one really knows what to expect. Several sites have surmised that this refers to new Facebook features on the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which the company bought in a $2 billion deal last March. It’d be appropriate for Mark Zuckerberg to show us how he’s put the gadget to use almost exactly a year after the mammoth purchase.
Yahoo Tech’s Dan Tynan will be at the F8 conference in San Francisco today, blogging his little heart out. Stay tuned for coverage starting around 1 p.m. ET; 10 a.m. PT.