New Facebook F8 announcements
Well, Facebook announced a lot of things. Here are the most important.
Facebook announced updates to Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook’s core service.
Redesigning around groups and events
Facebook recently said that it would start downplaying the News Feed, and after the F8 keynote, we know more about what that means. In an update that Zuckerberg calls “FB5,” Facebook will highlight groups and events, creating a prominent groups tab and a personalized feed from the groups you’ve joined — rather than a generalized update feed from your friends. Group interaction options will show up while you’re browsing other parts of Facebook, too.
The redesign is also supposed to help people expand their social circles. It includes a feature called Meet New Friends, which connects strangers who have something (like a school or employer) in common. And it’s offering an easier way to find events near you as well. Android and iOS apps are getting an update right away; the desktop site will be revamped in the coming months.
Instagram is testing a system without likes
Meanwhile, Instagram is testing a system that will almost entirely hide likes on a person’s feed, so you can “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” The feature will get a trial run in Canada, and if it proves popular, we might see it roll out in other countries.
Messenger will focus on close friends
Facebook is pushing the News Feed toward the margins in its main app, but it’s also reshaping Facebook Messenger as a way to keep up with your friends.
Messenger is actually getting a big refresh in general. On iOS, it’s being redesigned to take up less space on your phone; the new version will be under 30MB, about 20 percent of its current size. And if you’re using Messenger on desktop, you won’t have to keep it in a browser tab anymore — Facebook is launching desktop apps for Mac and PC later this year.
Changes are coming to WhatsApp
Businesses using WhatsApp can already have their own profiles with business descriptions and contact information, but WhatsApp will now let businesses display entire product catalogs directly on their profiles within the app that customers can browser through. “Now you can see what is available with a business,” said Zuckerberg.
The feature could help millions of small businesses that don’t have websites in countries like India, WhatsApp’s largest market, to lay out their goods directly on WhatsApp.
Future is private. Zuckerberg outlined Facebook’s push to create a “private social platform” across all of its apps, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook.