With all the stuff going on behind the scenes at our favourite tech giants, it’s hard to keep up with all the new. So today we’re rounding up the last week of Facebook headlines in a single post.

We’re talking new comScore metrics for Facebook ads, another swipe taken at Snapchat and the prospect of a Facebook that can read your mind.

Demographic metrics from comScore

First up, we have news from comScore that it’s adding Facebook demographic metrics to its vCE measurement tool. This follows growing pressure on the social network, Google and other ad platforms to provide more third-party reporting. Facebook and twitter were among the networks to experience metric reporting issues last year, prompting advertisers to demand more verification on the data they provide.

Starting next month, comScore’s vCE will include measurement for display and video ads that run on Facebook, Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network – both on mobile and desktop. Demographics, reach, frequency and GRPs will be added to the existing suite of reports in vCE.

Facebook takes another swipe at Snapchat

Facebook is making no secret of its strategy to fend off competition from Snapchat: if you can’t buy them, copy them. It’s a fairly new approach from a network that normally buys any tech startups it considers valuable or threatening, but Snap decided to turn down Facebook’s $3 billion takeover bid in 2013.

So now Facebook has to take Snapchat head-on and it’s doing a pretty good job so far by pinching any features it thinks could give its rival the edge. At Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans that seem strangely familiar to dialogue we’ve heard from Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in the past.

Now Facebook is promising to make smartphone cameras the first truly augmented reality device – precisely how Snap Inc. tries to distinguish itself from the social media crowd. But, with Facebook venturing into the same territory, this makes could make it more difficult for Snap Inc. to differentiate itself, which seems to be the game plan from Facebook. Once key difference, though, is Facebook isn’t so reliant on squeezing ads into the new technology because it’s already doing pretty well on that front.

“We really are trying to limit overly commercial experiences at this time because we’re trying to optimize for experiences that lend themselves to self-expression among pre-existing communities and fandoms,” a Facebook spokesperson told MarketWatch.

 

Oh, and Facebook also wants to read your mind

Another key takeaway from F8 is that Facebook plans to start reading our minds. More specifically, it has two projects: one to help you type with your thoughts and another to let you hear through vibrations on your skin. Both systems would rely on brain-computer interfaces – devices that can read neural activity and translate it into data – which doesn’t sound creepy at all.

Facebook says the end goal is to allow users to complete tasks in augmented reality apps using only their minds. Watch this space.

Facebook’s M coming to Messenger
As the personal assistant battle heats up, Facebook has announced it’s bringing its own VA platform, M, to Messenger. This brings Google Home and Amazon Echo competition right to your smartphone with an application that can turn user conversations into consumer actions.

This comes with news that Facebook plans to invest more into its Messenger Bots. Group payments was a recent announcement prior to F8 and the introduction of M into Messenger could pave the way for a smarter breed of bots in the near future.

That’s it for our Facebook news roundup but we’ll be back with more developments as they happen. Until then, reach out to us if you need any help with your Facebook advertising efforts or paid advertising in general.