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F8 2018: Top announcements from Facebook’s annual developer conference

From Facebook’s new dating service to group video calling in WhatsApp, here are the from F8 2018 developer conference.

tech Updated: May 02, 2018 11:02 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Facebook F8 2018,Facebook Dating App,Facebook F8
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the world's largest social network will soon include a new dating feature -- while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.(AFP)

Facebook made a slew of important announcements at its annual two-day developer conference F8 that began Tuesday in San Jose, California. Along with focus on privacy, the company also announced new features for its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms. Let’s take a look at the top announcements Facebook made at the developer conference.

After the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook has already been working to improve privacy controls in order to give users more control over how their data is shared. At the F8 2018 developer conference, the company introduced a browser-like “Clear History” feature. This essentially allows users to see the websites and applications that send their data to Facebook. Users can now monitor this information and even turn off ability to store it with their account in the future.

“It will take a few months to build Clear History. We’ll work with privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators to get their input on our approach, including how we plan to remove identifying information and the rare cases where we need information for security purposes. We’ve already started a series of roundtables in cities around the world, and heard specific demands for controls like these at a session we held at our headquarters two weeks ago. We’re looking forward to doing more,” the company said in a post.

Facebook takes on Tinder
Facebook is now building a Tinder rival. The social networking company said it will soon allow users to create a dating profile which will be separate from their Facebook profile. Facebook will serve recommendations based their dating preferences, mutual friends and things they have in common.

“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,” said Facebook in another post.

The company will be releasing more details about its new dating service later this year.

Here’s a preview of new dating service on Facebook ( Facebook )

Video calling on Instagram
Facebook announced that Instagram users can soon make video calls to their friends and families. The video chat feature will be integrated within Instagram Direct, the direct messaging section on the platform. The feature will also be available for group users on Instagram as well. ALSO READ: Instagram will now let users share info from apps like Spotify

New features for WhatsApp
As spotted in recent beta versions, WhatsApp is finally getting the group video calling feature. Facebook also announced that the instant messaging platform will soon have Messenger-like Stickers. These two features are going to be rolled out in coming weeks.

Augmented Reality
Just like last year, Facebook’s latest edition of developer conference focused extensively on futuristic technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Facebook said that it will soon allow brands to integrate AR camera effects into Messenger.

“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,” said the company.

Oculus Go
Facebook’s highly awaited standalone Virtual Reality (VR) headset Oculus Go finally went on sale. Priced at $199 (Rs 13,000 approximately, the Oculus Go comes with more than 1,000 apps and games. The company also announced Oculus Venues and Oculus TV, two new platforms focused on VR-based events.

“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,” said the company.

“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.”

First Published: May 02, 2018 09:46 IST