Facebook today presented the Messenger API for Instagram, WhatsApp Business API, Login Connect with Messenger, and more during its F8 Refresh developers conference.

Going back to its roots, Facebook bet on a “true developer” conference by offering more technical content geared toward developers. Mark Zuckerberg welcomed the community while Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, VP of platform partnerships, conducted the event as the keynote speaker. Here are the main features unveiled during the conference:

Facebook Messenger API for Instagram available to all developers

The new Messenger API for Instagram allows businesses to have all communications in one place. Through this API, businesses can leverage the tools and processes they have already put in place to enable more personal conversations and drive valuable outcomes efficiently. This API helps to deliver a high-quality and improved customer experience.

The Messenger API for Instagram will be available to all developers who want to start building on the platform. For business accounts wanting access to the Messenger API for Instagram, it will be rolling out access through a phased approach.

Connect with customers using the WhatsApp Business API

Facebook cut down the time it takes for businesses to get started on the WhatsApp Business by reducing the onboarding process from weeks to just five minutes.

With the new WhatsApp Business API, customers can receive additional information on WhatsApp since businesses will be able to insert more types of messages, for example, letting people know when an item is back in stock.

Facebook is also rolling out new messaging features, including List messages, so people can make a selection from a menu of up to 10 options, and Reply buttons, so people can make a quick selection with just a quick tap.

Login Connect with Messenger

Taking a step further from Facebook Login, the company is now working on Login Connect with Messenger. With this feature, customers will be able to opt into messaging with businesses directly from the Facebook Login flow.

Facebook says that among test participants who enabled Login Connect, the company has so far seen more than 70% of users opt into messaging.

With this, businesses can deepen their engagement with people through messaging by offering more personalized and efficient customer care. This feature is currently in closed beta and will be widely available in the coming months. 

What else did Facebook present during its F8 Refresh conference?

Facebook also talked more about Spark AR Studio, its AR creation software that lets anyone design and deploy AR effects across Facebook apps and devices. Today, the company previewed its new Multipeer API:

For the first time, creators will be able to build effects that deliver a coordinated experience across multiple call participants. For example, effects could be designed to deliver a shared sense of space, like a hangout in space or around a campfire, or even support lightweight gameplay.

The company also announced that its AI framework PyTorch is now the default framework for building all of Facebook’s AI and machine learning models. Introduced in 2016, PyTorch not only makes Facebook research and engineering work more effective, but it also allows them to share their work as open-source PyTorch libraries and learn from the advances made by the thousands of PyTorch developers all over the world.

Facebook is also donating $250,000 to Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit organization focused on diversity, equality, and inclusion through skill-building and job search resources for women with a passion for technology to help accelerate growth.  

You can check out the F8 refresh keynote and sessions here.

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