Facebook announced at its annual F8 developer conference, held in San Francisco on 12 and 13 April, that the company partnered with many African developers to launch products for the global market. Facebook, with its global reach and scale, is including African developers in its beta testing programme for the launch of new global products and features as it increases its presence and deepens its partnerships on the continent.
F8 hosts more than 2,600 people and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live for two days of new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetize their apps. And, more than 70% of Facebook’s developer partners are located outside the United States and about a third of the attendees at F8 joined us from abroad.
“We believe that local entrepreneurs and developers will be the ones to meet the needs of their immediate community, and we are working with developers to know how we can support them in doing so,” says Emeka Afigbo, Strategic Product Partnerships Manager at Facebook. “We are listening to our developer partners in Africa, and the strong showing for F8 is a reflection of our commitment to doing more with our partners across the continent to help them build products and businesses.”
African developers who partnered with Facebook to launch products at F8 include Afrinolly (Entertainment, Nigeria), GumTree South Africa (Classifieds, South Africa), Zikoko (Entertainment, Nigeria), Jobberman (Jobs, Nigeria/Ghana), The Net (Entertainment, Nigeria) and My Music (Media, Nigeria).
In addition, this year Facebook brought F8 to developers around the world through F8 Meetups hosted with tech hubs around the world. In Africa, we hosted F8 Meetups in Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Morocco where participants watched the sessions in San Francisco.
Two developer teams from Malawi won a developer challenge supported by mobile operator TNM Malawi and Facebook, and were featured on F8’s international stage. Maternitech, founded by three 22-year olds – Walter Moyo, Thandie Magasa, and Daniel Mvalo, provides educational information aimed at combating Malawi’s high under-18 pregnancy rate. The team was featured in an international livestream interview.
Talk To Me, an app created by 10-year old Panashe Jere, who learned to code at a Coding for Kids session at Malawi Hub. This app converts input text into voice so children always have someone to talk to. Both teams were congratulated by Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg personally for their achievements.
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook has 1.04 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 7.2 million daily visitors from Nigeria.
About Red Media Africa
Red Media Africa (www.redmediaafrica.com) is the PR & Empowerment Marketing division under the parent brand, RED.
It focuses on using inspiration, empowerment and action to help brands and organisations connect with their audiences, enhance their bottom-lines and lead in their industries.
It has 6 major practice areas: Corporate Practice, Technology Practice, SME Practice, Governance Practice, Faith Practice and the International Practice – with work for brands across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.
RED owns the continent’s largest portfolio of youth media brands. Its Content Division holds brands across TV, radio, online and events including Y! Magazine,YNaija.com, Rubbin’ Minds, #YTech100 and the The RED Summit. It also anchors a development firm, The Future Project, which projects include Africa’s leading youth platform, The Future Awards Africa, HowCanIGetInvolved.com and Aiki.ng, which is run in conjunction with Microsoft.