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Making Apps Easier to Access as Demand Surges

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As more people shelter and take to the web, simplifying their login experiences is proving helpful

As more people adapt to new public health and safety measures, they’re increasingly turning to apps for communication, connection and community — from text and video chat, to gaming and entertainment, to social good. We’re seeing spikes in usage across a wide range of interests and activities.

With this in mind, we think it’s important that app developers understand what they can do, today, to anticipate and help ease any friction users might experience as day-to-day needs continue to surge.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen above average usage of Facebook Login, which lets people use their Facebook account to login to numerous apps and sites. When Android features such as Custom Tabs and/or Express Login are used to open Facebook Login, people are able to connect to apps at higher rates.

We think there’s a strong signal that seamless login products like Facebook Login and its Android features are making it easier for people to quickly connect with their passions and interests at this time of increasing need.

And beyond what the data tells us, we’re anecdotally hearing this directly from developers too.

For example, the team at Wink says users are spending significantly longer times on its video chat app, and that Facebook Login is helping to boost its registration numbers:

“The biggest challenge now is that millions of people worldwide are forced to stay home, so online social connections are more important than ever. We’re seeing significant uptick in organic traffic to Wink from many countries, and users are spending significantly longer time on our app, to chat by voice and video with other users around the world. Facebook Login offers a lower friction registration process, and it’s helping to increase our registration completion rate.” – Andy Tian, CEO of Asia Innovations Group

Additionally, Mattel163, which has seen a spike in people playing UNO, thinks simplifying its login process is making it easier for groups to quickly connect to have some fun:

“There is a need to stay connected with one another, no matter how far apart. With the help of Facebook Login, Mattel163 has been able to provide social connectivity and joy through UNO. UNO players can join the game and share their special in-game moments on Facebook. Once in the game, players can add each other as friends, play together in a team-based 2V2 session, or set up a private game in Room Mode with friends. Recently, we provided free Room Mode to all players, where friends can meet, chat, customize rules, and goof off as if they were playing traditional UNO.” – Amy Huang, CEO of Mattel163

It’s clear apps are playing a critical role right now, helping people all over the world connect to their loved ones, interests and needs. If you’re a developer looking for ways to enable and help people at this time, evaluating your login experience may be a helpful place to start.

We have a collection of best practices, implementation examples and other resources for developers interested in implementing Facebook Login. Similarly, if you’d like to explore how to optimize this for Android users, make sure you’re using the updated Android SDK (which includes Custom Tabs for Android by default), and enable Express Login.

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ELI5: Docusaurus – Making Documentation Easy

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In this post, we will briefly talk about Docusaurus, a website building tool that makes it easy to develop, maintain and deploy a documentation site. If you prefer to learn about Docusaurus in a short video rather than a blog post, go to the Facebook Open Source YouTube channel to watch another episode of ELI5.

Why Docusaurus?

The top open source projects on GitHub have their own documentation sites that contain an overview of the project, short getting started guides, in-depth tutorials and project blogs. These resources are key to the success of any open source project, but building, managing and deploying them can be a lot of work. Unless you’re using Docusaurus.

Docusaurus is an open source project for building, deploying and maintaining websites. This project’s main goal is to get you started with your website in a matter of seconds. Beyond creating the site, Docusaurus emphasizes speed of both developer and end users by following the PRPL pattern and by relying on an incremental build for content changes.

Docusaurus allows developers to use tools they already know like Markdown or MDX to write documentation or blogs. With React as the backbone of Docusaurus, developers can customize their website to fit their use case.

This website building tool also comes with search and localization features. Projects built with Docusaurus leverage Algolia for a built in search engine and Crowdin for language support.

The cherry on top is that you don’t have to manually update your documentation every time you update your code. Docusaurus automatically syncs docs to project releases so that you can spend more of your time working on the things you care about.

Where is it used?

Docusaurus was first released to the public by the Facebook Open Source team in 2017. Since then, this project has been used by a large number of the Facebook open source projects and by over 100 external projects.

Where can I learn more?

Want to learn more about Docusaurus? You can find extensive documentation and tutorials covering a wide range of topics on building and customizing your site. If you want to engage with the community, feel free to join the Discord channel or talk to the team on Twitter.

If you want to see more content about Docusaurus, let us know on our YouTube channel, or by tweeting at us.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (~1 min in length), one of our Developer Advocates on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook open source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

We will write an accompanying blog post (like the one you’re reading right now) for each of these videos, which you can find on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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2020 Developer Circles Community Challenge regional winners announced

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It’s often said that one of the best ways to learn is to become the teacher. That’s why, for this year’s Developer Circles Community Challenge, we invited developers and creators to put an innovative spin on technical education by creating tutorials that showcase the capabilities of Facebook technologies.

Participants created step-by-step written tutorials that demonstrated one or more features of open source tools including Hack, React, React Native, PyTorch and Docusaurus; as well as products including Messenger, Spark AR and Wit.ai.

For their efforts, we offered cash prizes, as well as the opportunity to have their tutorials credited and shared with fellow innovators across the Facebook ecosystem.

Our regional winners

As our first step in deciding the overall winners, we’re very excited to announce our regional winners today.

The teams behind the below inspiring tutorials have each won a US$2,000 cash prize, and will also be invited to make further enhancements to their projects by Monday November 30, in order to have a chance at the global prizes announced in mid-December.

Asia Pacific

Intermediate/ Advanced

Create Smarter Messenger Experiences on Facebook with Bright
Messenger, Wit.AI

Covid Center Bot (Intermediate)
Messenger, Wit.AI

It’s Now Winter — AR Pop-up Card Tutorial Series
Spark AR

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Chatbot Messenger
React, Messenger, Wit.AI

Spark AR Promo Card Filter Tutorial
Spark AR

IndoNLU: Finetuning Tutorial IndoBERT using PyTorch
PyTorch, Docusaurus

Europe

Intermediate/Advanced

How to make Smoke in Spark AR
Spark AR

Creating colliders with Scripting – Spark AR
Spark AR

DIY Alexa With the ESP32 and Wit.ai
Wit.AI

Beginner

Calendar buddy
React, Wit.AI

Spark AR – Audio Visualizer Tutorial
Spark AR

React Custom Animation Hooks Tutorial
React

India

Intermediate/ Advanced

Shockwave
Spark AR

Reactode
React

Transfer Learning Model hosted on Heroku using React & Flask
React, PyTorch

Beginner

ReactNative Tutor ( Learn React Native On the Go )
React Native

Making Conversational Android Apps with Wit.ai
Wit.AI

DevCoder
Wit.AI

Latin America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Updating the Authorization header with Observables
React

Use data from Facebook API in Messenger Bots
Messenger

Manipulating Multiple Scene Objects with Scripts in Spark AR
Spark AR

Beginner

Create a serverless Messenger bot with Wit.ai
Messenger, Wit.AI

Documenting with Docusaurus Version 2 for beginners
Docusaurus

Spark AR – Art Series
Spark AR

Middle East and North Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

violence Detection in videos using CNN + LSTM
PyTorch

360 Tours
React

Beginner

Messenger Platform Tutorial (TDD Approach)
Messenger

Customer Service Messenger Bot
Messenger, Wit.ai

Build an Encryptor/Decryptor Chatbot on Messenger using Wit
Messenger, Wit.ai

North America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Your Claw Machine
Spark AR

Wit.ai CI and CLI
Wit.ai

Job Finder Bot tutorial
PyTorch

Beginner

Pneumonet-Building an AI COVID-19 Product with Pytorch
Messenger, Wit.ai

Chatbot for Class
React, Docusaurus

Getting Started with React Hooks: useState and useEffect
React

Sub-Saharan Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

Rabbit Coder (Spark AR Tutorial)
Spark AR

Pytorch For Information Extraction
PyTorch

Architecting and Designing a React Native Application
React Native

Beginner

Wiki Education
Messenger, Wit.ai

Live Chess
React, Docusaurus

Fruit Classifier
PyTorch, Messenger

Our local language winners

In acknowledgment of our diverse, global community, we’re also pleased to offer a set of special local language prizes for the first time. The below winning tutorials have each won a US$1,500 prize.

Arabic

Intermediate/ Advanced

Violence Detection in videos
PyTorch

Beginner

Adding Drag & Drop to React components
React, Docusaurus

French

Intermediate/ Advanced

Systeme De Reconnaissance Du Cache Nez
PyTorch

Beginner

Learn the basics of Spark AR by creating your FanMask filter
Spark AR

Indonesian

Intermediate/ Advanced

Gameo
React, PyTorch, Docusaurus

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Messenger Apps
React, Messenger, Wit.ai

Spanish

Intermediate/ Advanced

Chatbots As A Service con Messenger Platform
Messenger

Beginner

Tutorial web voice control using Wit.ai
Wit.ai

New building opportunities coming soon

Congratulations to all of these trail-blazing winners, and to everyone who took part in the Challenge. Stay tuned to our Facebook Developer Circles page for more information on our global winners announcement in December!

We’ll also be hosting a range of challenges including hackathons, as well as product immersion opportunities, for developers and creators in 2021. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter to be among the first to know about these initiatives.

Stay safe and we can’t wait to continue supporting you as you #BuildwithFacebook.

Facebook Developers

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ELI5: Fresco – Image Management Library for Android

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In this post, we explain Fresco, a powerful system for displaying images in Android applications, in a way that is super simple to understand (or as it’s commonly known online, ELI5). If you’re interested in learning by watching or listening, check out a video about this open source project on our Facebook Open Source Youtube channel.

Why Fresco?

Many of us are accustomed to browsing the Internet using reliable in-home wireless or a high-speed LTE connection on our mobile device. However, many users all over the world don’t have access to reliable internet access or the newest phone. With these limitations, users are unable to effectively use photos, gifs, and other forms of media. These non-text based communication devices help people to come across more genuine, and, without them, people’s conversations stay more formal and often lack genuine personality.

Fortunately, we get to help these people with projects like Fresco. This resources management library ensures that images, animations, and other visual assets can be used on a wide range of devices, even with an unreliable Internet connection. Fresco makes this happen by keeping resources’ memory footprint as small as possible. This functionality lets people use visuals while adjusting the image quality to what the device and the network can handle.

Here’s how it works. Fresco introduces progressive image loading where a low-resolution scan of the image is shown first, and then the quality is gradually improved as more of the image gets downloaded. This functionality is especially useful for devices relying on slow networks.

One use case to consider is how we use Fresco at Facebook. As a company, we aim to make online communication more personal. For this purpose, the Facebook app has animated stickers and gifs where people can authentically express themselves. However, from a technical point of view, these animated stickers and gifs are difficult to support as they need to be decoded, stored and displayed. But with Fresco, these challenges are handled for you, so animation becomes what it should be – a lot of fun!

Where is it used?

Fresco was first open sourced in early 2015. Apart from Facebook, companies like Wikipedia, Twitter and Redfin use this library for their Android apps.

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about Fresco, visit their website. It has great documentation for those who are just starting or want to use more advanced features. In case you would like to see Fresco in action, the project’s site has multiple sample apps for you to try. If you have any questions, you can go to Fresco’s GitHub page or StackOverflow.

If you have any further questions about Fresco, let us know on our Youtube channel, or by tweeting at us. We always want to hear from you and hope you will find this open source project and the new ELI5 series useful.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (~1 min in length), one of our Developer Advocates on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook open source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

We will write an accompanying blog post (like the one you’re reading right now) for each of these videos, which you can find on our Youtube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our Youtube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Interested in working with open source at Facebook? Check out our open source-related job postings on our career page by taking this quick survey.

Facebook Developers

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