Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8 kickstarted a couple of days back in the US. Over 5,000 developers, creators and entrepreneurs from around the world came together for F8. Mark Zuckerberg opened the two-day event with a keynote on they’re building a more privacy-focused social platform and also he announced several new features that are coming for Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and AR/VR platforms.
Up first, the messenger, in coming days, will be fast and reliable as Facebook is re-building the architecture of Messenger from the ground up to be faster and lighter than ever before. This completely re-engineered Messenger will begin to roll out later this year. Messenger will now let you discover and watch videos from Facebook together in real time. You’ll be able to seamlessly share a video from the Facebook app on Messenger and invite others to watch together while messaging or on a video chat.
Facebook also announced a Desktop App for Messenger, a user can download the app on desktop — both Windows and MacOS — and have group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger. Currently, this is in the testing phase and will roll it out globally later this year. Further, in Messenger, they are introducing a dedicated space where you can discover Stories and messages with your closest friends and family. You’ll also be able to share snippets from your own day and can choose exactly who sees what you post. This will roll out later this year. Facebook is also making it easier for businesses to connect with potential customers by adding lead generation templates to Ads Manager. And to make it easier to book an appointment with businesses like car dealerships, stylists or cleaning services, Facebook created an appointment experience so people can book appointments within a Messenger conversation.
WhatsApp will get getting Business Catalog as people and businesses are finding WhatsApp a great way to connect. In the months ahead people will be able to see a business catalog right within WhatsApp when chatting with a business. With catalogs, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them.
Facebook is getting all-new fresh Design with FB5 which is simpler, faster, more immersive. Users will start seeing some of these updates in the Facebook app right away, and the new desktop site will come in the next few months. Facebook is putting Groups First with the new design, making it easy for people to go from public spaces to more private ones. Today, more than 400 million people on Facebook belong to a group that they find meaningful
- Redesigned Groups tab to make discovery easier, the tab now shows a personalized feed of activity across all your groups.
- There are a few features for different types of groups – through new Health Support groups, members can post questions and share information without their name appearing on a post. Job groups will have a new template for employers to post openings and easier ways for job seekers to message the employer and apply directly through Facebook. Gaming groups will get a new chat feature so members can create threads for different topics within the group.
- Facebook also announced a new feature which can help in Connecting with your Secret crush on Facebook Dating – you can opt-in to discover potential matches within your own Facebook communities: events, groups, friends of friends and more. It’s currently available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Mexico — and they are expanding to 14 new countries: Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and Suriname.
- A new feature called Secret Crush allows up to nine of your Facebook friends who you want to express interest in. If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list, no one will know that you’ve entered a friend’s name.
The Ability to Shop from Creators – Starting next week, you can shop inspiring looks from the creators, instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or Direct, you can simply tap to see exactly what your favorite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot. Anyone in the global community will be able to shop from creators.
A Way to Fundraise for Causes – One can raise money for a nonprofit you care about directly on Instagram. Through a donation sticker in Stories, you can create a fundraiser and mobilize your community around a cause you care about — with 100% of the money raised on Instagram going to the nonprofit you’re supporting. This will be available in the US now.
A New and Improved Camera – One of the much-awaited announcement is the new camera design including Create Mode, which gives you an easy way to share without a photo or video. This new camera will make it easier to use popular creative tools like effects and interactive stickers so you can express yourself more freely.
Facebook is building technology around how we naturally interact with people and they shared more on their recent work to bring AR experiences to more people and platforms and opened pre-orders for Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S. Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S will start shipping May 21. Oculus Quest, first all-in-one VR gaming system, lets you pick up and play almost anywhere without being tethered to a PC. For those with a gaming PC, Rift S gets you into the most immersive content that VR has to offer. Both start at $399 USD and you can pre-order now at oculus.com. They also launched the new Oculus for Business that will come later this year. The company is also adding Oculus Quest to the program and will provide a suite of tools designed to help companies reshape the way they do business through VR.
Follow us on Twitter for more news and updates.