This year’s Facebook F8 developer conference was held in San Jose, California with the theme, “The Future Is Private.” At this event, several announcements were made, including updates and new features for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
In his keynote speech, Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, shed light on the issue of user privacy. He admitted that Facebook has given people reasons to distrust the social media company, and is now focused on the importance of privacy and people’s connection with their family and close friends online.
Here are the new features that Facebook announced in this year’s F8 developer conference:
The Latest on Facebook
The latest app update is known as “FB5” and it marks the beginning of the end of the News Feed era. In place of the newsfeed is Groups and Events that will become more visible with distinguishable tabs and a personalized feed on which, instead of seeing general posts and updates, users will see posts from the groups they are a part of.
The Facebook interface also received an update which aims to give users a chance to widen their social interactions online. The “Meet New Friends” is here as well. This new feature allows strangers who have something in common, such as the same workplace or school, to connect and interact. This update is now available on Android and iOS but not yet on desktop.
Facebook also announced that the Facebook Dating feature introduced last year will be expanding. During the event, they announced that 14 more countries will now be able to experience it.
Along with this announcement is the launch of another new feature called “Secret Crush.” Secret Crush allows users to secretly indicate which of their friends on Facebook they are attracted to. If two users both indicate that they find each other attractive (they have a mutual crush), both will get a notification that there is a match.
What’s New with Facebook Messenger?
The Messenger app now comes with the “Close Friends” feature, enabling users to share contents specifically with trusted friends and people who often engage with their content.
Messenger for iOS users also got a redesign that reduces amount of device storage space it takes. The new version will be about 20% the app’s current size, which is under 30MB.
Later this year, a Messenger app designed for desktops will roll out as well.
What’s New with Instagram?
Instagram now offers the new “Create Mode,” along with its new camera interface updates. Beyond the conventional way of posting photos and videos, there is now a much easier way to share content on Instagram stories.
In this new feature, users can “create” their image in which they don’t have to black out background images. All they have to do is post GIFs and texts over a solid color background.
Another update for Instagram is the feature for in-app purchases, allowing artists and creators to sell to potential buyers from inside the app. Just add the shopping tags directly onto posts.
This feature is now available to influencers and celebrities. But as of now, this feature is available in the U.S. only.
Then there are the “Donation Stickers,” which is pretty much like Facebook’s “Charitable Giving” feature. This feature is to help non-profit organizations obtain donations. People can add these stickers to their Instagram Stories and raise funds for different charities such as the GLAAD and No Kid Hungry.
Additionally, a trial run is now ongoing where the number of likes and views on videos will be hidden from the feed so people can focus on the content and not on the numbers.
What’s Up With WhatsApp?
It’s all about business when it comes to WhatsApp, what with product catalogs now displayable on users’ profiles. For companies and entrepreneurs, this makes it easier for customers to browse through product listings without leaving the app.
The catalog is an excellent way for small online businesses with no websites to display their products and goods to potential customers as well.
What to Expect from the Latest Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest?
The Oculus Rift S and the Oculus Quest became available for pre-order during the F8 event. The former is 2016 Oculus Rift’s latest model, while the latter is a self-contained console.
Both products cost $399 and will be shipped to 22 countries starting 21 May 2019. These two new headsets promise to have a “more user-friendly inside-out system.”
What are your thoughts about these new app updates and products from Facebook? Do you find them useful and valuable?
Tell us what you think and hit the comments below.