WhatsApp Group Video Calling, Messenger Revamp, and Other Highlights From Facebook F8 Conference

Facebook on Wednesday concluded its F8 Developer Conference. This year seems to be a bitter one for Facebook especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal which brought a lot of backlash towards Facebook’s way of handling users’ data and their privacy. The developer conference witnessed CEO’s words about why and how developers should keep developing for the platform. To encourage more and more development on Facebook and to provide incentives to these developers, the company has launched a lot of updates to the Facebook Core application including Oculus, Instagram and WhatsApp also. Below are some important and very interesting updates which Facebook had revealed during the conference.

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Facebook Dating
Facebook has previously rolled out updates which very closely resemble other applications. While the Facebook Marketplace was a solid take towards Craigslist, the story feature took a jab at Snapchat. Now it seems as if Facebook is after Tinder. In the conference, Facebook revealed its plans about launching a dating feature on the core application. This feature would allow users to see potential matches on a first name basis, in the groups or in the events they are interested in attending. People can also use this feature to initiate a conversation which will be separate from the Messenger application.

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Although, there wasn’t a declaration from the company about a specific date when the feature would be launched. This announcement surely caused the stock prices of other dating companies to slip. The parent company of Tinder and OkCupid, Match Group, saw a decline of 20 percent on their stock price from $46.22 to $36.12.

Messenger
Facebook admitted in the conference that they have let the Messenger application become loaded with unnecessary features and have allowed it get overhauled by too much information, which is definitely not a good direction for the application. According to Messenger VP of Product, David Marcus, the application will go through a revamp which will simplify a lot of things on the platform and will also introduce a dark mode.

Instagram Stories
Many users would agree on the fact that these days Instagram Stories get a lot more attention and engagement when compared to the posts. Very soon, Facebook is planning to launch AR filters which will allow brands and influencers to push their own filters instead of the company pushing it for them. There are also going to be third-party integration on the stories, where people will be able to provide a deep link while listening to a song on Spotify or while importing a GoPro footage. Instagram will also witness a new update which will add the video calling functionality along with group conferencing as well.

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WhatsApp
In the keynote, there was also an official brief thank you speech for the WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, given his recent departure from the company. Then the discussion went on to present stats about the WhatsApp application. Facebook revealed that 450 million users share a story on WhatsApp daily and 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp every day.

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Further, it was revealed that Facebook would also launch updates for WhatsApp although they won’t bear any major alteration or upgrade to the app. Some of the new features will be group video conference and stickers.

However, there were somethings which did not go unnoticed during the developers conference which was the fact that Mark Zuckerberg did not mention Cambridge Analytica’s Aleksandr Kogan not even once. Also, the CEO light heartedly spoke about his testimony in the conference relating to the same data leak scandal. Moreover, he also added that app reviews were on and up again after a brief period of the hold which was done to investigate potential bad actors.

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