At Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference, Mark Zuckerberg and others unveiled new updates and plans that are in pipeline for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and Oculus.
Today, our global developer community gathered in San Jose for F8, an annual two-day event where developers come together to explore the future of technology.
Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the day with a keynote on how we’re taking a broader view of our responsibility by not only giving people powerful tools, but also making sure those tools are used for good. He discussed our responsibility to keep building new services that bring people together in meaningful new ways across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus.
Other keynote speakers today included Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Instagram Product Managers Jyoti Sood and Shilpa Sarkar, Instagram Data Science Manager Tamar Shapiro, WhatsApp Director Mubarik Imam, VP of Messaging Products David Marcus, VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong, VP of VR Hugo Barra, and Head of Social VR Rachel Franklin.
Here are some of the announcements made today.
Today, we’re announcing plans to build Clear History. This feature will enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward. Learn more here.
Sharing to Stories
We’re introducing a new way for people to share from their favorite apps to both Facebook and Instagram Stories.
People already share their interests on our platforms, and now we’re making that experience faster, easier and more creative on Stories.
Just tap the share button in an app like Spotify to share what you’re listening to directly into the camera. From there you can edit and share to your story or feed. You don’t have to connect your Facebook or Instagram account to other apps in order to share to Stories.
We’re introducing the Groups tab, which helps you navigate to your existing groups more easily and interact with content from all your groups. Later this year, you’ll be able to discover and join new groups through the tab.
We’re building a feature for dating and relationships within the Facebook app. People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better. People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile — and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events. However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends. We’ll share more information when this begins testing later this year.
Last year we announced Crisis Response, a center on Facebook where people can get information about recent crises and access Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers. We’re always looking for ways to make it easier for people to support each other during a crisis, and people have told us that information from others is most helpful. Today we’re introducing a feature that will enable people affected by a crisis to share firsthand accounts of timely information, like road closures and damage photos and videos, making it easier to get real-time updates. The feature will be rolling out later this year.
Blood Donations on Facebook
We recently launched a new feature for people in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to register as blood donors on Facebook. We know that donors want to step up to help their community, but often don’t know when or where to donate. So today, we’re announcing Blood Donations on Facebook to make it easier for people who want to donate to find opportunities nearby. In a few weeks, people in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan will be able to view nearby blood donation camps, requests for blood donations and blood banks from one place on Facebook.
Investing in our Developer Community
We recently took a number of steps to better protect people’s information on Facebook. Today, we are making several important improvements to our policies and programs for the developer community with a focus on building trust with the people who use our products. We are re-opening our app review process after making some changes to make it more comprehensive and grounded on ensuring that each of our APIs creates value for people, is transparent and builds trust. Learn more about these principles and the ways we are investing in our developer community here.
AR Camera Effects for Instagram
Last year at F8 we announced the AR camera platform, and today we’re bringing it to Instagram. Using AR Studio, creators will be able to design unique, interactive camera experiences, including face filters and world effects, for their followers on Instagram.
We’re announcing video chat, a new way people can use real-time video to connect, even when they can’t be together. Video chat will be available in Instagram Direct and will empower both one-on-one and group conversations.
We’re redesigning Explore to make it easier to discover things you’re interested in. The new Explore will organize suggested content into relevant topic channels, making it easier than ever to browse across your interests, while going deeper into any specific area.
Video chat and the new Explore are both testing now and will soon be rolling out globally. Read more in Instagram’s blog post.
WhatsApp Group Calling and Stickers
Voice and video calling are very popular on WhatsApp, and we’re excited to share that group calling will be coming in the months ahead. Stickers are also coming to WhatsApp soon.
AR for the Messenger Platform
We’re launching the ability for brands to integrate AR camera effects into their Messenger experience. This feature, launching in closed beta, helps people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, and more. Developers will be able to build experiences that let people virtually customize or try on merchandise, walk through new products, or simply express themselves in a fun way.
We’re announcing that buyers and sellers in Marketplace, a place on Facebook to buy and sell things locally, will be able to communicate across languages with M suggestions for translations. Now when people who connect through Marketplace receive a message in a language that is different from their default language in Messenger, M will ask if they want to translate the message. At launch, translations from English to Spanish (and vice-versa) will be available in Marketplace conversations taking place in the US. We plan to expand this feature and gradually roll out M suggestions for translations to people using Messenger in the US in the coming weeks.
Bringing VR Mainstream
We announced new ways people for people to express themselves and connect with friends and family in AR/VR:
- Oculus Go Available Now: Oculus’ first standalone VR headset is available globally today, starting at $199 USD. With more than 1,000 apps, games and experiences availablee at launch, there’s never been an easier way to jump into VR than with this all-in-one headset. Visit the website to learn more or order.
- New Apps for Shared VR Experiences: We’re introducing new ways to experience VR with friends and connect with your favorite entertainment. Oculus Venues is your ticket to live social events in VR including concerts, sports and comedy nights with friends and thousands of other people. Oculus Rooms, originally released for Gear VR, has been redesigned with the launch of Oculus Go and lets friends play board games, watch movies and more. Oculus TV gives you a virtual big screen TV, where you can watch live or on-demand content – and will allow up to four people to watch together starting this summer. Oculus Venues and Oculus TV launch later this month.
- More Immersive Ways to Share: Recently, Facebook introduced 3D posts and today, we’re announcing that people will soon be able to take 3D objects from News Feed into Facebook Camera AR experiences with one tap. We also announced 3D Photos, coming this summer — this is a new media type that lets people capture 3D moments in time using a smartphone and share on Facebook.
The article was first published here