Facebook's developer conference, F8, is Tuesday. Based on recent roll-outs and rumors swirling, here are some changes that could be fleshed out at the event. Full report here: http://cnb.cx/1SJS8Ln
  1. The Chatbots Are Coming
    Perhaps the most buzzed-about is rollout of a FB chatbot - a robot, powered by AI that you communicate with on the Messenger app. Rather than launch an additional app to book a flight or hail a car, one could theoretically chat up a bot to do the task. Canadian messaging app Kik is among apps that have already launched "bot shops" with partners like H&M and Sephora.
  2. Ramping Up Live Video
    Facebook has already showed its big investment in live video, debuting features to make it easier for users to find and share clips. There may even be an announcement of a standalone video app at F8. Live Video was heralded as the "future of TV" thanks to an exploding watermelon streamed by Buzzfeed last Friday. What does that mean for developers? A platform that's more competitive with Alphabet's YouTube and Twitter's Periscope.
  3. Message My Business
    While Live Video was busy stealing the spotlight, Facebook quietly broke out some new features aimed at small business owners last week. Business pages now have usernames with "@" signs similar to those used for tagging friends. These usernames will give each page a unique identity and allow users to interact with the business owners. Other updates include a feature called Messenger Links and Codes, where business can share a clickable link or scannable QR-like codes.
  4. DIY Virtual Reality
    Though virtual reality has been an ancillary business, the Oculus-owner boasts several VR sessions on the technology at F8. He expects partnership announcements, starting with sports and entertainment companies. "We expect FB to say it's still early days, but to start to focus on allowing users to generate their own VR content," Schachter wrote. "This will be the first large FB event post Oculus launch and we expect the focus to shift from hardware to the software/content for the platform."
  5. Payments In Person
    While you can send peer-to-peer payments, and pay your Uber via Messenger, Facebook has yet to venture into in-person transactions. But that could be the next step for Facebook to face-off against fellow tech-titan Apple, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Martin Pyykkonen told Investor's Business Daily. It's an opinion bolstered by reports by investigative technology blog The Information.