A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the famous F8, the largest global developer conference organised by Facebook. Needless to say, it has been a great honour to have been among the lucky ones to receive an invitation to the event. During the conference I had the opportunity to meet developers from all over the world, as well as to find out the novelties that Mark Zuckerberg’s fervent mind has in store for his users.
I love to share what I am passionate about with others, so I will be talking about the novelties that, in my opinion, are going to influence the world of Influencer Marketing.
One of the major innovations discussed during the event that is particularly worth a mention is the new applications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. In particular I would like to focus on the new Facebook Spaces, a kind of second life that allows you to interact with the real world, make calls on Skype, and connect with people in lots of different ways.
Another important update concerns Augmented Reality. Facebook has released, in open source mode, Caffe2, a deep learning library capable of working from modern smartphones, which allows them to process very advanced algorithms.
One of the first pieces of software to use this library is the new Messenger 2.0 (launched at the event), now able to create real-time effects such as 3D environment interpretation, including dynamic effects such as rotating elements and interacting with non-existent elements (such as showing a room filling with water). A 3D development environment has also been introduced (AR Studio) which allows developers to create 3D effects, such as Snapchat filters.
Another important innovation on Messenger is the arrival of the new “Discover” feature, which allows us to find more and more new BOTs (at the moment more than 100,000) enabling more and more immersive integration with Chat. For example, while chatting with a friend, you can scroll through a pub’s menu, book a table, and even split the bill at the end.
There are many things to discuss about the other novelties introduced by Facebook during the F8, but I would like to focus on the ways in which they will impact the world of Influencer Marketing.
How Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Will Help Brands and Influencers
New virtual reality applications will give Brands and Influencers new channels to communicate their messages, interacting directly with interested parties. This is an incredible revolution: imagine you can interact directly with your potential customers in a virtual world, a world where you can exhibit your products and services. Further, you can involve Influencers to reach more and more profiled audiences, and involve them as a new touch point to experiment with new content types such as interactive product reviews and live experiences.
Using AR and VR to reach new audiences
Reaching audiences with specific demographics like the Generation Z can be particularly complicated for some Brands. According to a study by IBB Consulting, users of VR are usually young men in urban and millennial contexts with revenues below $100,000. Specifically, the interest in VR content is divided into the following topics:
Film and TV: 49%
Travel and Theme Parks: 40%
Concerts/Live Sporting Events: 27%
User Generated Content: 18%
Currently, the most used channel for delivering virtual reality content is, of course, YouTube, where video game reviews make it the top platform for VR, but I’m convinced that more and more platforms, besides Messenger, will start to provide more VR systems that involve more sectors. For instance, you could soon involve Influencers in live cooking demonstrations, applying a beauty product, or an absolutely realistic travel experience for your customers to experience.
What content can be produced through VR and AR?
Although the scenarios above may seem like a fantasy, the VR and AR applications of Influencer Marketing are closer than we can think. Let’s see some examples:
- Live AR sessions. Through AR Influencers can, for example, leave information about a place they have visited, allowing other users to find and interact with the information.
- Live VR sessions. Influencers can engage with their audiences even more by creating a virtual room where they welcome groups of users equipped with VR devices to share live experiences with them. For example, this could be an evolution of the unboxing phenomenon where a user unwraps a new product and looks at it in real time along with their followers. In this way, sharing experiences becomes much more engaging and allows direct interaction between Influencer and users including, for example, a live session of questions and answers. As this technology becomes used more, this will allow more people to join regardless of location or ability to travel. Also, thanks to VR Influencers will be able to fight the fear of missing out by bringing their audience to events and concerts through VR devices that include micro cameras, thus providing absolutely exclusive and engaging content.
The limits to Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applied to Influencer Marketing will soon be a distant memory. These technologies already exist and thanks to continuous advances and artificial intelligence, they will soon be an integral part of our daily lives.
At Buzzoole, technology is at the heart of everything we do. If you’re interested in discovering new ways to engage Influencers within your marketing strategy, visit our dedicated Brand page.