Major takeaways from Facebook’s ‘privacy-focussed’ F8 developers conference

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New Delhi | Published: May 2, 2019 12:28:10 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set the tune by stating that the company is aiming to be more "privacy focussed" so that its products

At F8 2019, Facebook announced a huge overhaul for its social networking sites, apps and the business tools that it has introduced till date. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg set the tune by stating that the company is aiming to be more “privacy focussed” so that its products, be it Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp, stay secure.

Security and privacy concerns undoubtedly emerged as the primary areas of focus for the company, as Zuckerberg said, “We don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly. But I’m committed to doing this well and starting a new chapter for our product.” Zuckerberg meant it as a joke that wasn’t.

The other big things that have been announced by the social media giant in its annual conference are:

FB5

Among other things, the first thing that was rolled out by Facebook in the conference is FB5, which is a fresh new look for the Facebook app – which is also faster and simpler. It has also rolled out the dark mode for Facebook this time, just like it did for Messenger last month.

Facebook Marketplace

The company has also taken the first steps towards projecting itself e-commerce sphere by planning to revamp its ‘marketplace’. With nearly 40 million active business running through the social media platform every month, Facebook has now deployed around 300,000 developers to work and train its bots to ask standard questions to the customers, which will flourish appointment-based businesses by connecting the customer with the business after verification.

WhatsApp

In India, Facebook will add a catalogue like a feature for Business users, so that the small and medium enterprises can now showcase their products. The payment getaway of WhatsApp is also being tested out in India, in about a million users.

Facebook Dating

Facebook Dating was initially rolled out by Facebook in five countries, which included Canada, Thailand, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Now, it has been expanded to fourteen countries across the world, including Singapore, Bolivia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Guyana, Uruguay, and Suriname.

A new feature named ‘Secret Crush’ has also been introduced. The feature will allow a Facebook dating user to pick up nine of his or her friends, who are also using the feature as his ‘Secret Crush’. If a person in the list also picks out the users – it will be a match!

Facebook Messenger

Messenger will probably get the biggest renovation. The social media giant has announced end-to-end encryption for the messaging platform that is being used by nearly 1.3 billion users every month.

While it will roll out a lighter and faster version of the app for iOS later this year, which is much like Facebook Lite for Android, desktop apps for Mac and Windows will also be launched. Desktop apps will enable users to invite and watch videos together with friends. There will also be a reaction cam, to capture their reactions while watching the video. The focus, however, will be kept on chats, audio, and video call through the messaging app, without having to surf through the browser tabs.

The company has also announced to use Messenger to connect medium and small appointment-based business with its customer base. The bots will help the customers connect with the business after due verification and over 300,000 developers are working on it, to training the bots to ask standard questions to the customers.

Instagram

Meanwhile, Instagram is tasting out and expanding a sales system that has been introduced last month. This allows celebrities, and influencers, to tag products in their posts so that their fans can buy them directly.

The social media giant is also strengthening its fact-checking team, and using tools and technology to curb down fake news across the world.

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