The annual Facebook F8 conference is underway, and Mark Zuckerberg was all charged up as he faced the daunting task of keeping developer’s spirit high in spite of the plethora of data breach scandal the company faced in recent times. The CEO also unveiled a series of initiatives aimed to take Facebook to the next level with better features and more ways for people to connect and interact with others.
Here are the top 10 announcements that the CEO made during the Day 1 of the F8 conference.
1. FaceDate: That is the name of the new dating service that would be available on Facebook. As with any other dating site, users will be able to create profiles that will be visible to only those on the lookout for suitable matches. In other words, FaceDate profiles will be segregated from the core Facebook site to ensure better privacy. The same can also be visible to a user’s friend but only if he/she has opted to be part of the FaceDate group. Further, all interactions would take place in a messaging service that again would be dedicated to FaceDate.
FaceDate can also be considered a smart move on part of Facebook considering that they already are hosting millions of profiles. Allowing them to connect and opt to become life partners will be a nice step. Its not that this wasn’t happening, but FaceDate will make for a more secure and dedicated way of doing it. No wonder, the likes of Tinder and OKCupid are already feeling the heat and share have dropped several points even though the exact launch date is yet to be announced.
2. Instagram Video Chat: Instagram is, and continues to be an image sharing site though the next big makeover for it will be in the form of a video chat feature. That will make for a nice way for Instagram users to connect with others. There is going to be a group calling feature as well to make for a complete chatting experience.
Another nice addition to Instagram will be an anti-bullying filter which will save users from being exposed to bullying comments.
3. Oculus headset now on sale for $199: Day 1 of the keynote proceedings also saw the launch of the new Oculus VR headset that would cost just $199. That applies to the 32 GB variant while the 64 GB version will cost $249. Facebook is hoping the lower initial price will make the VR headset more tempting for users to be drawn into the world of virtual reality.
4. Oculus TV: This can well be considered an extension of the Oculus VR headset as Oculus TV will likely emerge as the reason why anyone would opt to buy the headset in the first place. In simple terms, Facebook will like users to watch TV on the headset though at the moment, its only videos from Facebook Watch that is available. Other popular apps such as Netflix or Hulu should be arriving soon, allowing users to have their own personal big-screen viewing experience.
5. Instagram Stories to get AR filters: The next update for Instagram will also include a cool new feature that will allow users to use AR face filters for the Stories feature. Interestingly most of it right now will be from third-party sources. For instance, a GoPro clip can also be cropped and featured on Instagram Stories to spruce up such interactions.
6. Messenger: Facebook wants to do away with all the clutter to make Messenger look clean and simple again. No word yet how that is going to be achieved though there likely will only be buttons for the most used features at the forefront while removing the rest. Also, a new translation service is set to be introduced to Messenger, so that language difference does not come in the way of people coming together and interact.
7. Clear History: This can be considered to be in response to the wide-ranging criticism Facebook faced post the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Also, as might already be perceptible, Clear History will let users have greater control over the sort of data the social site collects from its users, and delete those as well if so desired.
8. WhatsApp: The messaging platform won’t have as extensive a makeover as Messenger is expected to be getting but will still benefit from a few cool feature additions. Those include the introduction of stickers and group video calling. The app will be also likely to be opened up further to the business. The latter again is a contentious issue that could downgrade user’s privacy and is believed to be the reason that founder Jan Koum chose the leave the company in protest against.
9. App review: The app review process has been re-introduced and is believed to be another fall out of the infamous Cambridge Analytica data leak incident. The same had been put on hold following the discovery of the data breach where an app develops sold user info to a firm that counts among its client several political parties around the world.
10. VR Memories: This will transform 2D images into 3D pictures which again can be shared on the Facebook timeline. That would make for a complete transformation for the timeline that right now hosts only 2D images.