Facebook’s F8 conference delivered some big news today for mobile marketers as it expanded the scope of Messenger, debuted Facebook Analytics for Apps, and brought LiveRail to mobile. There’s a lot here that will take a while to sink in, and for developers to really enhance, but the prospects for Facebook as an advertising medium, a social medium, and even a business connection look better than ever.

The keynote, led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, laid out Facebook’s major announcements for the show. One thing came across loud and clear: It’s time for Messenger to step into the limelight. The app has an audience of more than 600 million people, according to Zuckerberg, and Facebook is now opening it up as a platform for developers. Yes, you’ll be able to create apps that can be installed on Messenger, and you’ll be able to move right to app installs. This is huge news for games, as anyone who’s watched the massive success of messaging apps in Asia can tell you.

WeChat in China, Kakao Talk in Korea, Line in Japan — all are driving the top mobile games in those countries, and are directly responsible for billions of dollars in revenue for games. People live in their messaging apps, and broadening the utility of messaging into an app discovery should be a huge boost to games. This alone should boost Facebook’s reputation as the place for game marketers to find users.

Facebook’s plans for Messenger are ambitious. In the last year, Facebook’s worked to make Messenger become a really important communications tool, adding photos and videos, stickers, voice calling — and now mobile VOIP globally. Just this last week Facebook starting rolling out payments through Facebook. Now it’s looking to make Messenger an important business tool: “Mostly you call businesses today, ” Zuckerberg said. “How useful would it be if you could message a business instead ” Facebook is introducing this capability today. The examples showed how receipts can be sent through Messenger, allowing you to answer back immediately if you have a change in your order. Your entire communication history with a business is kept in the thread, making it easy to provide personalized service. The SDK is available today, at messenger.com/platform

There was plenty more of interest to marketers, with Deborah Liu, director of platform, showing off the new Facebook Analytics for Apps. “It helps you understand how people use your apps,” said Liu. “It’s people-focused, and cross-device.” That’s really critical in this age of screens everywhere, since now you can analyze how people are using apps across multiple devices. This capability is free, available today.

Liu also showed off LiveRail’s new capability to let you monetize and manage video across multiple platforms, including mobile. The benefits are increased ROI for developers, more relevant ads to people, and better monetization for apps. Who could argue with any of that More details on Facebook’s announcements and links to full information can be found here.

The [a]listdaily reached out to one of the leaders in the mobile ad measurement industry, AppsFlyer, to see what they thought about Facebook’s announcement. AppsFlyer’s CEO, Oren Kaniel, discussed the impact of Facebook’s announcements for us. AppsFlyer had an in-depth analysis of Facebook’s announcements today that you can find here.

Oren Kaniel

Why is Facebook’s new ad analytics tool important for app developers?

Facebook’s new tool validates the entire mobile app tracking industry and is incredibly important for any app developers that aren’t already using a similar solution. It will give them insights into their app install campaigns and help them understand how well their ad sources are working, which in turn will allow them to optimize their campaigns and have confidence that they’re getting a positive return on their investment.

How important has Facebook become for mobile app developers, and why?

Facebook is incredibly important for mobile app developers because it is one of the largest and highest-quality sources of new installs.

How is AppsFlyer affected by this announcement, and what does it means for marketers using AppsFlyer’s tools?

This announcement doesn’t have any effect on our partnership with Facebook, as we remain a close-knit partner in its MMP program. Nor does it have any effect on our current customers, as they can continue to use AppsFlyer the same way they always have. We feel Facebook’s new tool will be a great solution for smaller developers who are just using Facebook and maybe a limited number of other advertising sources, but for those larger and medium-sized developers that are advertising across a broader assortment of publishers including Twitter, Google, Yahoo and others, they’ll need an independent and unbiased solution such as ours in order to track their campaigns across the entire ecosystem.

Will Facebook’s importance to mobile app developers be increasing over the next year? Why or why not?

Yes, Facebook’s importance to mobile app developers will most definitely increase over the next year. Facebook has made a concerted effort to invest in mobile and to help app developers grow their businesses. This new analytics solution is just one example of that commitment.

How does Facebook work with Apple and Google — should marketers be concerned about friction between these huge companies?

There will always be friction among the biggest companies in the industry, and though it remains to be seen just how that friction will affect access to app tracking and analytics, we believe that it’s in the best interest of app marketers to have an independent, unbiased attribution firm they can trust.