Facebook has announced a plethora of new features, products and services at their F8 conference. Here’s a quick overview of all the big announcements that were made by Mark Zuckerberg during the first day of the F8 developers conference.
1. Clear History
After the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook has started to take the privacy and security of the users seriously. Mark Zuckerberg had announced a new feature called “Clear History”, which allows users to delete a part of their data from other sites that users visit. The tool lets users see the information about the apps and the websites that they’ve visited, and lets them delete the information from those sites. Although this doesn’t totally address the privacy concerns that were initially raised by everyone worried about their data being misused and the senators themselves, the new announcement is certainly is a step in right direction.
2. A Date with Facebook
Facebook has announced the launch of a new dating service. The new dating service doesn’t require users to download any new app, and can be accessed from the Facebook app itself. Since privacy and safety was one of the main issues that was addressed at the keynote, Mark stressed that the user’s dating profiles wont be visible to your friends and family and only to strangers who opted in to find love.
The new dating service has events and groups that are based on users interests, where the user can join to find people with similar interests. Matched users can chat in the private messaging app, and none of the data will be shared across their messenger and other services. Users can only send text messages as of now and there’s no option to send media files. Mark also stress that this new service is for those who wish to have a long term relationship and not just for casual hook-ups
3. A Translator for the Messenger Marketplace
Messenger now allows messages to be directly translated to the required language, eliminating the need to use a separate translator. This new translation service from Facebook will kick-off from US marketplace with support for translation of conversations from English-Spanish.
The translator can help small businesses grow by eliminating the language barrier, and letting users communicate directly with the sellers to make purchases. Facebook marketplace has over 800 million monthly active users, across 70 countries. Messenger will also see a complete design overhaul with a revamped design and an easy to use interface.
4. Oculus GO-es on Sale
After a 6 month wait, the Oculus GO finally goes on sale from today at price of USD 199. The stand-alone VR headset was first introduced on October 11th 2017. For the uninitiated, the Oculus Go from Oculus is a standalone low-end VR headset which didn’t require any high-end PC or gaming console to power it. It is aimed at users who wish to experience VR but cannot afford to buy its bigger brother, the Oculus Rift, which requires a PC or console to power it.
The VR kit comes in two variants, one with 32 GB of onboard storage, that costs $ 199, and a 64 GB storage variant that is priced at $249.
5. Oculus TV
Oculus TV is a service that was launched by Facebook to work in their new GO headsets, allowing users to consume media right from it. The services available on it are limited to Facebook watch for now, but as time goes by, we can expect to see other services such as Netflix and Hulu.
6. Facebook App Reviewing Process
Facebook will be reopening the app-review process after a brief break due to the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. The company had emphasized their stance on privacy and safety of the users data.
7. A Story to be Shared
As we all know, Facebook had blatantly ripped off SnapChat’s stories and embedded it into almost every major social networking sites that Facebook owns. Two platforms that see an abundant amount of daily stories are Instagram and Whatsapp. The company announced that Whatsapp Status had hit 450 million daily active users.
To improve the way users share their stories, the company is going to add options for third-party services such as Soundcloud, Spotify and GoPro to share the stories directly to their Facebook and Instagram platforms.
8. From Group Calling to Stickers
Whatsapp will be adding stickers and group calling features soon. Lack of Group calling was one feature that made every Whatsapp user to choose an alternative app such as Hangouts or Facebook’s own Messenger app. The new update that will be rolled out in the coming months seems to solve that problem. Additionally, stickers will also be introduced in the coming weeks.
9. Blood Donation
Facebook has recently launched its blood donation feature in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The feature lets users to register as blood donors and help others in need of blood. People will be able to view blood donation camps in their area, and to make it easier for those who wish to donate blood in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The blood donation feature will be available in few weeks.