Facebook F8: How and when to watch Mark Zuckerberg's live developer conference keynote - and what to expect

 
Lynsey Barber
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A VR future awaits... according to Facebook (Source: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg)

Prepare yourself for Facebook chatbots, Live Video and more about Messenger from F8, the social network's annual developer conference.

Kicking off in San Francisco at 6pm GMT, Mark Zuckerberg is expected to reveal new details of the company's plans - and if you really want, you can watch it all as it happens, here.

After the founders keynote, the conference - one of the biggest in the tech calendar - will see developers doing their thing for the next two days, working on ideas that may just roll out to your news feed... and beyond.

What can we expect? The rumour mill has, of course, been in full flow. Here's what's on the cards...

Chatbots

​Ever wished you could communicate with customer services, without the hassle of actual human beings? That could soon be reality. Facebook's already talked about its plans to get businesses integrated into Messenger, but now, that could come in the form of bots. Maybe this could make contacting a customer easier by removing the human element? It can't get much worse. But then we do all hate those automated phone services. Whichever way it goes, say hello to the Facebook robot overlords (and let's hope it goes better than Microsoft's bot venture).

News alerts

When it comes to news alerts, rival Twitter totally trumps Facebook for breaking news. Zuck has tried to get further into the news game with features like Instant Articles, on which it has partnered with publishers, but now, it's focusing on Messenger (that'll be a theme of the conference).

Live Video

Last week, Facebook revealed developments to its Live Video feature, which then incidentally, had its most high profile moment with Buzzfeed's live stream of trying to explode a Watermelon using elastic bands (maybe you had to be there). It's expected to get more attention at F8.

Virtual Reality

The buzzword of 2016 (although the talk of over-hype has already begun), Facebook, which just happens to own VR company Oculus, is likely to focus on the trend. Understandably. There will be two sessions about 360 video - the near VR-like experience that you can get without a VR headset on Facebook. - as well as a VR Capture Technology session.

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