Key points of Facebook F8 developer event at a glance

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Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and chatbots Facebook 2016 developer event revealed ambitious plans for expanding its social empire

Facebooks (mostly) annual developer event in San Francisco has been running since 2007. Over that time it has morphed from an insider code-builders event to a high-profile launch event, and though the developers are still there Facebooks message is now rather more well honed when it comes to translating their mission to the masses.

This year, chatbots and virtual reality grabbed the most attention, but there were many smaller but significant announcements too. Heres everything you need to know from this years event.

Messenger bots

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Mr Messenger: David Marcus, Facebook vice president of messaging products, talks about bots. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

Facebooks Messenger app, which has 900 million active monthly users, now has a new platform that allows developers to build services that work inside the chat tool. No messing here: Facebook says it is focused on facilitating messages from businesses, whether a hotel reservations systems, customer service or Zuckerbergs favorite plug of the day 1-800-Flowers, which can order personalized flower delivery without leaving the Messenger app. Bots now include Uber and Lyft, which allow users to order cabs; Dutch airline KLM, which will now issue boarding passes; Hyatt hotels which will send reservation details; and clothing store Zulily, which will track orders.

What seems like a fiddly novelty with no clear purpose will now very quickly become a staple part of our internet experience, just as apps were before it and mobile phones before that. And Facebook has a bulging revenues book to demonstrate its track record in matching technology with businesses more than willing to pay up.

Mark Zuckerberg

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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