Facebook CEO announces way to clear history, Mark Zuckerberg to offer first dating feature

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Published: May 2, 2018 1:40:13 AM

Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook's annual f8 developer conference, in which he acknowledging that 2018 has been an "intense year" just four months in.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is working on a feature that allows users to clear their browsing history from the site and prevent it from keeping tabs on link clicks going forward. (Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is working on a feature that allows users to clear their browsing history from the site and prevent it from keeping tabs on link clicks going forward. Zuckerberg warned that the service won’t be quite as good if users take this step, as it has to relearn their history. But he added the goal is to put more power into its users’ hands to determine what they want to share. Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook’s annual f8 developer conference, in which he acknowledging that 2018 has been an “intense year” just four months in. Facebook is ready to launch a portable headset that it’s counting on to transform the geeky realm of virtual reality into a mass phenomenon. The USD 199 device, called the Oculus Go, is going on sale Tuesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plan to make the headset six months ago.

Oculus Go is different from other virtual reality devices that require smartphones or a cord tethered to a personal computer to cast people into artificial worlds or show three-dimensional videos. The need for additional equipment is one of the reasons virtual reality, or VR, has had limited appeal so far. Zuckerberg is counting on the Oculus Go to widen the audience for VR, as Facebook tries to deploy the technology to reshape the way people interact and experience life, much as its social network already has done. Facebook is launching a dating feature. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to laughs at Facebook’s f8 developer conference Tuesday that the new tool is “not just for hookups” but to build “meaningful, long-term relationships.” That is, if you want. The feature will be opt-in, meaning you have to choose to use it. Zuckerberg also stressed that the feature was built with privacy and security in mind from the start. The company has been under fire recently for possibly not doing this with some of its features over the years.

Zuckerberg also said the dating feature will not suggests users’ friends to date. This is already what other dating apps that rely on Facebook data do, such as Tinder. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his company’s annual developer conference acknowledging that 2018 has been an “intense year” just four months in. Speaking in San Jose, California, at Facebook’s f8 gathering of tech folks, startups and others, Zuckerberg said to cheers that the company is re-opening app reviews, the process that gets new and updated apps on its services. He also reiterated that Facebook is investing a lot in security and in strengthening its systems so they can’t be exploited to meddle with elections.

But unlike other recent public appearances, he did not start off with an apology for the company’s recent privacy scandal. Mark Zuckerberg has a fresh opportunity to apologize for Facebook’s privacy scandal – and to sketch out Facebook’s future. The Facebook CEO will kick off F8, the company’s annual conference for software developers. Zuckerberg will speak Tuesday in San Jose, California, to assembled software developers and other tech folks.

It’s normally a sympathetic audience. But they are likely to have some tough questions this year. Zuckerberg might touch on Facebook’s year of privacy scandals, congressional testimony, Russia investigations and apologies. He will also have an opportunity to talk about where things go from here. Facebook is forging ahead with new promises to protect user privacy even if it means restricting access to developers.

Facebook to offer first dating feature, rival shares tumble

Facebook Inc will offer its first dating service, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday, signaling the entry of the world’s largest social network into a growing market that sent shares of established dating site operators tumbling. Shares of Match Group Inc, the owner of popular dating app Tinder, fell more than 18 percent on the news. IAC , Match Group’s parent company, dropped almost 14 percent. Zuckerberg told software developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference that a dating service would be a natural fit for a company that specializes in connecting people online. “There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg said. A dating service could increase the time people spend on Facebook and be a “big problem” for competitors such as Match, said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities.

“But the initial functionality looks relatively basic compared to those offered by Match’s services, so the impact Facebook has on the dating space will be down to how well it executes in this area,” Cordwell said. A prototype displayed on screens at the F8 conference showed a heart shape at the top-right corner of the Facebook app. Pressing on it will take people to their dating profile if they have set one up. The prototype was built around local, in-person events, allowing people to browse other attendees and send them messages. The feature will be for finding long-term relationships, “not just hook-ups,” Zuckerberg said. It will be optional and will launch soon, he added, without giving a specific day.

Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said in a separate presentation that the company would share more over the next few months. The dating service is being built with privacy in mind, so that friends will not be able to see a person’s dating profile, Zuckerberg said. Concerns about Facebook’s handling of privacy have grown since the social network’s admission in March that the data of millions of users was wrongly harvested by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Cox said he had been thinking about a dating feature on Facebook since 2005, when he joined the company about a year after its founding. The company began seriously considering adding a dating service in 2016, when Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page a photo of a couple who had met on the network, Cox said.

Thousands of people responded to Zuckerberg’s post with similar stories about meeting partners on Facebook, Cox said. “That’s what got the gears turning,” he said. People will be able to start a conversation with a potential match by commenting on one of their photos, but for safety reasons that Cox did not specify, the conversations will be text-only, he said.

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