Facebook’s F8 conference saw the announcement of multiple announcements, including many from Mark Zuckerberg himself - and they were quite interesting given the circumstances the company has been in recently.
For those who may not have had the time to watch the whole thing, here are some of the major takeaways from this year's event.
Maybe the biggest announcement from this year's F8 event was the addition of a new dating feature for Facebook, wherein users will be able to add a dating profile that’s not visible to friends who've done the same.
The system will then match users based on data collected from activities within Facebook, and provide a dedicated inbox, instead of cobbling those messages with the rest of Messenger.
While there are still concerns regarding how Facebook will handle privacy in this service, investors appeared excited by the potential - the share price of Tinder’s parent company Match Group fell by 22% soon after this announcement.
Messenger Chatbot Embargo Lifted
Chatbots will no longer be banned in Facebook Messenger - which is indeed great news for those looking to experiment with the rising function.
The chatbot embargo was abruptly imposed over a month ago, to the detriment of businesses which make use of Messenger to interact with their customers.
Marketers can now connect their Facebook Messenger applications to their Facebook Pages - and you’ll be pleased to know that everything works as intended.
After all the trouble regarding data privacy and security with the whole Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook is now launching a new privacy feature called Clear Search History.
This upcoming feature will enable Facebook users to delete personal data that's been accumulated from sites and apps using its ads and analytics tool. That lets you delete your browsing history from Facebook’s data store, which Zuckerberg has compared to deleting cookies on your web browser.
While it does potentially make the Facebook user experience less personalized down the line, users being able to maintain their data privacy may be worth the trade-off.
Instagram Video Chat and Anti-Bullying
Instagram is also adding a video chat feature, which will add to the Instagram Direct inbox feature.
This turns Instagram into more than just an app where people can post their selfies and stories every so often.
Meanwhile, there'll also be a new comment filter implemented to provide addition protection against cyber-bullying, which is quite rampant in the service. Instagram's also implementing changes to the Explore tab, with new topic filters to help users improve discovery.
By making Instagram more feature-packed like this, Facebook's looking to maintain the pressure on Snapchat, after having launched Stories on both Instagram and Facebook.
Facebook is Reopening its App Review Process
In a move that's basically a complete reversal, Facebook will once again implement stringent reviews on apps getting into the social media platform.
Facebook can’t afford having another app like “thisisyourdigitallife” harvesting user data without consent all over again - and while they’re not preventing app developers from being able to deliver great user experiences through the site, the company's certainly trying to be a lot more careful this time.
Oculus Go Now on Sale for $199
As part of its effort to bring virtual reality to the masses, Facebook has released the standalone Oculus Go headset.
The $199 version has 32GB of on-board storage, while the $249 provides 64GB of it.
Instead of going for the Samsung Gear VR approach by having something that you have to stick a smartphone into, Facebook is offering a more tailor-made experience, at an affordable price.
Another thing Facebook is churning out from its Oculus division is their own virtual reality television network.
VR is the future of media consumption, and Facebook is heading the charge with Oculus TV.
While it only has Facebook Watch content available at the moment, services like Netflix and Hulu are expected to be made available on Oculus TV in the near future.
Messenger with Translation
Having language support is good, but having active translation in chat is even better. Facebook Messenger is aiming to bridge language gaps by adding translation features in Messenger.
Facebook has started the translation train going with English-Spanish conversations in Marketplace within the U.S.
The direction being taken here is obvious - it's another way Facebook is aiming to create more meaningful connections.
VR Memories and 3D Photos
Adding more to the impending VR madness, Facebook's also adding VR memories and 3D photos to its repertoire in a bid to lead the way in content delivery.
What may be novelty now could become the mainstream trend of tomorrow, and Facebook is counting on that with these two new features.
WhatsApp Status Hits 450 Million Users
As if Facebook wasn't doing enough to pound on Snapchat - WhatsApp Status, the app’s own version of Snapchat Stories, has also hit 450 million daily active users. That’s double Snapchat’s whole userbase, making this milestone a really big deal (especially given Snapchat’s recent downer of an earnings call).
Aside from that, WhatsApp is also adding stickers and group video calling.
With Snapchat apparently having turned a blind eye on the international market, WhatsApp has pounced on the opportunity, and the move is paying off significantly.
Sharing to Facebook and Instagram Stories from Other Apps
Aiming to boost the accessibility and convenience of posting Stories, Facebook is also enabling sharing to Facebook and Instagram Stories from various apps like Spotify, SoundCloud, and GoPro, as part of a new arrangement.
Whether it’s sharing your vacation adventures as they happen, or a song that hits your mood just right, you can do it easily right from these apps, and not have to go the long way around to post them as Stories. This could be a boon for travel blogging, music discovery, and many other avenues.
These were just some of the top announcements from Facebook's F8 conference, and there were plenty of other, smaller updates and features revealed, adding to the platform's potential. Worth considering how these new tools and options could impact your digital marketing approach.