Facebook revealed its updated and new features on their 2 days F8 annual conference happened on April 30 and May 1, 2019.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, opened the F8 annual conference 2019 with an opening keynote “more privacy-focused social platform”. Zuckerberg elaborated the importance of having a space of expressing one’s self and feeling connected to other people and communities.
After his talk, Mark then gave the spotlight on the leaders of Facebook subordinates including Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, AR/VR, and Facebook itself.
Asha Sharma, Director at Messenger Consumer Product talked about what’s new on the app. Messenger is currently working on the future and more private communication that’ll help users create a closer relationship between people, businesses and developers.
Here are some updates on the Messenger app:
⦁ A faster, Lighter App
- Messenger is working on re-building the app for a faster and reliable messaging app. Messenger said that the rebuilt app will be initiated later this year.
⦁ A way to Watch Together
- This new feature of the messaging app enables a user to discover and watch videos together even though they are not together, in real time. The new feature is already on a test and will roll out globally later this year
⦁ A Desktop App for Messenger
- – Messenger acknowledges that users want to open the app on any device. The new “Messenger Desktop app” is already available in both Windows and MacOS where users can chat and have a video call through their personal computer/s.
⦁ Better Ways to Connect with Close Friend
- Messenger is making it easier for users to connect and find people that they care about the most. Messenger Stories is introducing a new update where a user can share their post only to the ones they wanted to see it
⦁ Helping Businesses Connect with Customer
- Messenger is adding a “Ads Manager” for business to connect easier with a potential customer. All they need to do is to add lead generation templates to the Ads Manager.
⦁ Business Catalog
- WhatsApp said that they are launching a business catalog where people and business connect in a better way. Business Catalog will roll out later this year.
Fidji Simo, Head of the Facebook App talked about the updates of Facebook. Even after facing security and privacy issues, Facebook has been trying to introduce new features on their app to encourage users to use and stay in the app longer. Facebook puts ‘Groups at the center of Facebook’.
⦁ A Fresh Design
- Facebook is rolling out the all-new FB5, a design that is simpler, faster, more engaging and puts the communities at the center. The new design lets a user to easier find what they are looking for.
⦁ Putting Groups Firs
- “There are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook. When people find the right one, it often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook. And today, more than 400 million people on Facebook belong to a group that they find meaningful,” Facebook said. “With this in mind, we’re rolling out a fresh new design for Facebook that’s simpler and puts your communities at the center. We’re also introducing new tools that will help make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests.
⦁ Connecting with Your Secret Crush
- Facebook announced the “Secret Crush” where the user can explore potential romantic relationships within the app. With the Facebook Secret Crush, a user can choose up to 9 friends to convey interest in. If one of those selected friends ads you on their ‘Secret Crush list’, it’s a match!
⦁ A Way to Meet New Friends
- Facebook has created a new feature called “Meet New Friends” that will help users to connect with new people inside their communities.
⦁ Shipping on Marketplace
- This new Facebook feature helps sellers reach buyers easily. Shipping on Marketplace allows a buyer to securely pay the seller directly on Facebook.
⦁ A New Events Tab
- Events tab lets a user see what is happening around them, get great recommendations, discover local business, and even organize plans with friends.
Here are the features that you should expect from Instagram later this year:
⦁ The Ability to Shop from Creators
- The Shop from creators enables a user to easily shop from their favorite creators without leaving Instagram.
See full details here: https://business.instagram.com/blog/shop-looks-from-creators
⦁ A Way to Fundraise for Causes
- User can raise money through Instagram. A sticker in Stories lets a user fundraise and mobilize a community for a cause.
Check the Instagram Help Center for more information.
⦁ A New and Improved Camera
- Instagram’s new camera design includes Create Mode, an easy way to use creative tools like effects and stickers.
John McCarthy, Head of Product Management at Portal talks about the AR/VR where they are planning to build technologies that naturally interact with people. Pre-order for Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S is already available.
⦁ Portal Expands Internationally this Fall
- Portal and Portal+ will be expanding in Europe this coming fall. Portal users can call through WhatsApp or Messenger.
⦁ Beyond Video Calling
- Portal is introducing new ways to connect to their Portal. By just saying “Hello Portal, Good Morning”, a user can get updates about birthdays, events and more. They are also adding a feature where a user can send private videos from Portal to their loved ones. Portal is also adding some Alexa skills to Portal through the collaboration with Amazon.
⦁ SuperFrame to Display Your Favorite Photos
- The all-new Portal’s SuperFrame lets users add photos from the Facebook feed, as well as photos from your Instagram account.
Kimberlee Archer, Head of Developer Marketing for AR/VR also talked about updates on AR/VR.
⦁ Spark AR Expands to More People
- Archer said that over one billion uses AR experience powered by Spark AR. The new Spark AR Studio will now support both Windows and Mac.
Sean Liu, Director of Product Management at Oculus discusses the Oculus Quest and Roft S pre-orders. According to him, their newest virtual reality headsets will hit the market as early as MAy 21. Both product will start at $399 USD and you can pre-order it at oculus.com
In addition, they are also launching the new “Oculus for Business” aimed to help companies to vary their business ways through VR.