2016 was a year of innovation for Facebook, and to celebrate, the company has named some of its favorite projects and products that came from its hackathons at its offices around the world during the year.
Among the items on the list are a richer and more detailed Safety Check, “adaptive attachments,” and instant verification for Android — all in all, Facebook’s 2016 was a pretty productive one.
Perhaps the coolest feature developed during the year is Instant Verification on Android, which works through Facebook’s Account Kit. In days past, to verify an app, that app would have had to send you a verification code via SMS, after which you would need to check that code and enter it into the Facebook app. The new feature allows other apps to use Facebook data to verify a phone number, getting rid of the extra SMS steps.
Next up is a better, richer Safety Check. Safety Check was itself developed at a hackathon, but the new version makes it even easier for people to tell friends and family that they’re safe in an emergency. How does it do that? Well, it basically enables extra context through images and calls to action, which can be embedded within notifications. Another extra module within Safety Check allows users to get access to information like where to find shelter, food, water, and even first aid.
Last but not least are “adaptive attachments,” an innovation created at a hackathon in New York, which basically gives users a new way to upload photos to shared albums, create a crowdsourced video, and even play multiplayer games, all only by commenting on a post.
Of course, hackathons aren’t unique to 2016, so we can expect some more innovative products to come from hackathons in 2017, too.