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Facebook’s F8 Conference Begins: What’s Next For WhatsApp, Messenger, & Oculus?

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The annual F8 Developer’s Conference kicks off today. See what Facebook is planning for WhatsApp & its growing portfolio. (Image via FBF8.com)

Facebook has come a long way since its launch back in 2004. The biggest social media network in the world is also one of the hottest stock and investment options in the market. In 2014, the company bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, paid $2 billion for Oculus VR, along with making major efforts to improve their other entities such as Instagram, Messenger, Facebook Video, and Internet.org.

Today, we?ll talk about how the social network plans to treat new members of its portfolio. Of course, they plan to make money along the way but let?s try to shed some light on what Facebook is expected to announce at the F8 Conference to be held hours from now.

What?s in store at the F8 Conference

The two-day developers conference will begin today and about 2,000 people from around the world are expected to flock to San Francisco to get a glimpse of what the social media giant plans to discuss and learn about up and coming products aimed at helping developers build better apps.

With a keynote from CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicking off the F8, the audience will also get a sense of the the company would make out of its recent big ticket purchases (i.e. Oculus and WhatsApp). This comes amid the Facebook?s attempts to leverage and capitalize on messaging, which is the only activity that?s more popular than social networking. To summarize, we may predict that Zuckerberg?s team will feature the usual complement of standalone product developments at the F8 event including updates for Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR demos, and various talks about creating applications, data tools, and social graphs.

Facebook?s gameplan for WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus VR

During the conference, Facebook is likely to open up its native Messenger app to developers so they can turn it into a platform in itself. By doing this, Messenger will be able to offer extra features from third party sources, much like what rival Line and WeChat has been doing for years.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in a note published on Monday, “Facebook will likely enable third-party developers to build apps to function within the Messenger platform which could include games, premium accounts and rich media experience,”

Another major rumor surrounding Facebook?s impending announcement involved the possible merger of Messenger and WhatsApp. The company already own and control the latter, which is currently the most widely used messaging app in the world, so it would make sense if the social network decides to integrate the features of its Messenger app into the more popular WhatsApp messaging client.

On one hand, Facebook Video now counts over 3 billion video views per day and has become one of the first major threats to YouTube, Google’s long-running video streaming service. Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp have yet to significantly contribute to Facebook?s revenue streams but these apps currently boasts 300, 500 and 700 million active monthly users, respectively.

Oculus VR?s consumer launch is not far off in the horizon and it spearheads a new market for the tech savvy that could be worth about $7 billion by 2018. Meanwhile, turning Messenger into a standalone platform, whether its merged with WhatsApp or not, would only mean that the social network is ready to treat its previously built-in messaging app as more than just a side project.

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Photo Credit: ?FBF8.com

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