Last week, Facebook held its annual Facebook F8 conference in California, during which it showcased upcoming additions and updates for its various social platforms. Here’s the lowdown on the main new features announced for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
The next version of Facebook, codenamed 'FB5', is the platform’s fifth redesign and will be the most significant change the social network has experienced in years. Groups will be the core focus with a new Groups tab making it easier for users to find and participate in them.
In its bid to be the next go-to dating app, Facebook Dating is already active in five countries – Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Mexico – and will now be rolled out to 14 more; the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and Suriname. But Facebook is also launching a new feature called 'Secret Crush', which will enable users to select up to nine of their Facebook friends who they would like to express romantic interest in.
New Events Tab
Facebook will be adding a new Events tab, which will show users more of what’s happening locally to them. It will include refined recommendations, local business listings and new tools to help organise outings with friends.
Facebook is also making several changes to its Messenger app. Not only will there be a new option to limit your Messenger interactions to selected groups of close friends only but Facebook will be adding a new option enabling users to view Facebook video content within chat groups in Messenger. Meanwhile, for businesses, there will be new Messenger lead generation templates added to Ads Manager, making it even easier for companies to connect with potential customers.
Instagram ‘Shop from Creators’
The big F8 announcement for Instagram was 'Shop from Creators', a new option which will facilitate direct buying from specific users and their posts. This means users will be able
to shop inspiring looks without leaving Instagram; instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or by direct message, you can simply tap to see exactly what your favourite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot.
Instagram's also adding an option for users to raise money and awareness for non-profit organisations via new donation stickers in Stories. This will enable people to mobilise their community around a cause they care about, with 100% of the money raised on Instagram going to the non-profit they’re supporting. The option will be made available to US users only for now, but more countries will follow.
Instagram Camera Improvements
Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform, so it makes sense for its owners to make the tools it offers as user-friendly as possible. At this year’s F8 conference, the company announced a new camera design, which will include 'Create Mode', giving users an easier way to share without a photo or video.
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