Facebook has given us a bit more of an insight into some of the more experimental new products and apps its product team has been working on.
Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox, showed off what could one day work as a more expressive version of the Like button.
Instead of simply pressing Like, Cox said users could use their smartphones to take a selfie. But rather than just send that, the function could read the user’s Facebook expression and transform it into an appropriate smiley/sad/frowning/indifferent face.
Cox made it clear: “This is not on our roadmap, we don’t know how to build this. It actually seems really hard, but it’s the kind of thing unlocked by the power of all the different sensors on the phone.”
He said that the mobile phone offers companies like Facebook the opportunity to create more immersive advertising formats too.
Facebook and watch company Michael Kors have been experimenting with an ad format that users could touch, swipe, and pinch to spin the watch around and see it at all angles.
Cox said: “Rather than looking at an image of a watch, or a video, you’re encouraged to pick it up and look around it, because it’s a beautiful piece of jewellery, the kind of thing you want to turn around in your hands.”
Ideally, Cox said, if this idea works, Facebook could roll the format out wider and it could become the norm — a little like autoplay video is now becoming the norm — across Facebook and the wider web.
Of the autoplay video format, which has helped Facebook rival YouTube in terms of videos viewed, Cox said it has managed to remove two points of friction: Seeing the play button and worrying about waiting for the video to load, and dealing with “an ad flying around with an x on there.”
He added: “[Autoplay video] has totally changed our expectation and willingness to exchange with video on phones.”
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