Facebook’s annual conference, F8, is just around the corner.

The conference, which takes place at Fort Mason, San Francisco on April 12 and 13, is guaranteed to be an exciting event for developers, marketers, publishers, and really any Facebook user.

Last year at F8, Facebook announced a plethora of changes and new features. As a reminder, here are some of the things that we received or learned last year:

  • We learned that more than 30 million apps have been made using Facebook’s platform.
  • We learned that Facebook paid out more than $8 billion to developers.
  • Facebook announced that videos would become embeddable.
  • Facebook announced a new Messenger platform for developers.
  • Users gained the ability to connect with businesses, directly on Messenger.
  • A new mobile analytics tool was announced.
  • Facebook announced that 360-degree videos would be supported on the site.

Because last year was so eventful, we thought we would preview F8 2016, and what we can expect from Facebook. There are a lot of important things that businesses should keep an eye out for at F8, and we want to make it easier for you to know what to pay attention to.

What is F8?

Facebook F8 is an annual conference hosted by Facebook for industry professionals who build products or businesses using or for Facebook.

If you’re wondering where the name “F8” comes from, it stems from Facebook’s notorious 8-hour internal hackathons. F8 was originally created with the intention of sharing those 8-hour hackathon projects with the world.

F8 has since evolved into a conference for Facebook to show off new integrations, features, and more.

Why you should care about Facebook F8

The F8 conference is important because it’s a chance for the Facebook community to understand where the social network is heading into the future. A lot of the announcements made at F8 have a big impact on Facebook’s business and on you and your business.

For the 2016 event, there will be over 40 sessions, interactive demos, product announcements, and the opportunity for individuals to work directly with the Facebook team.

This year should be especially eventful since Facebook will likely share updates on some of its other businesses, including WhatsApp, LiveRail, Oculus, Instagram, and others. You can also check our post about the biggest tech conference in Italy, Codemotion, which we took part in.

Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote

The one session that you should make sure you watch is Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote. You should be excited for Zuckerberg’s keynote because, according to Facebook’s director of platform product Deborah Liu, we are going to “hear from Mark about how Facebook is helping developers build, grow and monetize success, and where we’re headed in the future.”

Two keynote sessions are planned. One is on Tuesday, April 12th at 10 am PST and the other is Wednesday, April 13th at 10 am PST.

Some notable rumors

There are a lot of rumors flying about what we might expect at F8. A few of the rumors include:

1. Instant Articles

This is a feature that will allow publishers to display their content directly on Facebook, within the Facebook app.

2. An algorithmic timeline on Instagram

Facebook announced that Instagram will be implementing an algorithmic timeline, and it’s expected that this announcement will be a key focus at F8 this year. We can expect an official date to be announced, in addition to how the change will impact both business and individual Instagram users.

3. Facebook Live

Facebook Live recently launched, but we’ll likely learn a lot more about how this feature will evolve over time.

Mark Zuckerberg made some recent comments that already gives us some insight into what we can expect from Facebook Live over time, “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world.” With this in mind, we’ll probably get a more clear sense as to how publishers, marketers, and developers can benefit from this new major feature on Facebook.

What are you looking forward to most about Facebook F8?

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