Yesterday was the first day of Facebook’s F8 developer conference. It is unfortunate for the Facebook event to be held at this time of the year where earlier the Cambridge Analytica scandal put the company at odds of the way it is handling all the user information. We can’t forget the fact that F8 comes following closely after the major controversy about how Facebook handles user privacy. But the show had to go on, and so Mark Zuckerberg tried to keep everybody excited, especially the developer, about building on his platform.
Zuckerberg nodded to those problems. Agreeing to it, he introduced a new feature that lets users clear their browsing history from the Facebook. Mark also affirmed that the company would make sure that it prevents fake news and fake accounts from spreading on the platform. He didn’t really reveal much about how Facebook plans to do that, but hopefully, there will soon be more information on that as well.
Facebook’s dating feature
Facebook is now planning to be Cupid and get into the matchmaking game with a new dating feature. This new feature will be built right into the Facebook app. It will look a lot like Tinder, and probably work like Tinder, too. The exception will be that you can connect it to Facebook Events in order to find potential matches at any event you are attending like a party or a concert. Zuckerberg says at F8, the new feature will be more focused on building real, long-term relationships, unlike Tinder which is mostly used for hook-ups.
You can easily volunteer to create a profile which is only visible to people you are not friends with. Facebook will then match you with them, based on all the data it gets. It will also have a dedicated inbox rather than using the same Messenger.
Enhancing your Instagram stories
Facebook will now allow sharing photos and videos directly to your Instagram stories inside Instagram and Facebook. It is starting this thing with apps like Spotify, SoundCloud and GoPro. You can also upload footage directly from the GoPro app into Instagram. Facebook says that it will integrate more third-party apps over time. So you can expect a growing number of ways to make your Stories interesting.
Improved explore tab
Instagram is also borrowing from Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform to roll out new AR features in the app. There will also be a redesigned Explore tab to help people discover new content on Instagram. It will organize its content into different topic channels like photography, architecture, animals etc. The Explore tab is expected to roll soon in the coming few weeks.
Video chat on Instagram
You can now video chat with your friends through Instagram. The video chat can go on for as long as you like. You can easily chat one-on-one or with a small group of friends. You can also continue doing other things by minimizing the video and continue to chat. WhatsApp was already offering video chat. But with the updates, the app will now support group video calls too. Instagram will also get a new filter to protect its users from bullies and their comments. With the addition of this filter, Instagram could become a safer place for people to hang out. This is just what Facebook wants, in order to defeat its competitor Snapchat.
You might not care about Messenger, but lots of businesses do. On an average, businesses exchange almost 8 billion messages using the Messenger every month. Now, Facebook will redesign the app in order to improve those interactions. It will include a new Customer Chat plug-in. This will allow businesses to integrate Messenger into their websites. This is also an opportunity for brands to tap into Facebook’s augmented reality tech. Messenger’s virtual assistant called M will also get new functionality. It can now offer real-time translations within a chat app. This will only be available in English and Spanish for now. But more languages will be added soon.
Facebook is improving the Crisis Response, which was added to the app last September. The Crisis Response is a feature which allows you to let your friends know about your safety and well-being in a particular crisis taking place in a particular location. Now, this feature will also let people affected by a crisis to share direct and immediate account of timely information. The update is expected to roll out later this year.
Facebook is also bringing 3D illustrations to the news feed. It will turn 2D photos into memories. Facebook’s cheap standalone VR headset, Oculus Go, is now on sale. The 32GB version of the headset will be available for $199 while the 64GB version will be sold at $249. In addition to that, Oculus also want you to be able to watch TV inside its new headset. There won’t be too many options in the beginning. But you can expect applications like Netflix and Hulu to arrive eventually.
It feels good to see Facebook come up with updates at F8 event even after all the recent controversies. Some of these updates are really interesting and we can’t wait to see them on the app and experience them. There has been the word on the exact time of the updates, but slowly and eventually all these updates will go live and we will soon be able to use them.