Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference is a showcase for the company’s new products, upcoming changes and overall vision for the future. This year’s F8 conference, held May 1 and 2, seemed like business as usual – with splashy announcements and a keynote speech from CEO Mark Zuckerberg – despite Facebook’s recent high-profile privacy controversy.
Here are some of the most interesting Facebook and Instagram highlights for brands from the two-day event.
In response to calls for users to have more control over their private information on the platform, Facebook announced an upcoming feature called Clear History. It will allow users to see the websites and apps that send Facebook information about their activity – for example through features such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics. Clear History will let users delete this information from their account, and opt out of this data being associated with them. Facebook will still send reports to apps and websites that include general demographic information or aggregated analytics, but they won’t include individual account info.
Move over, Tinder. Facebook is about to get in on the online dating game. Users will soon be able to create a dating profile separate from their regular Facebook profile; it will only be visible to people who aren’t friends and who have also opted into the dating features. Facebook will offer potential matches based on mutual friends, common interests and dating preferences. Users can also find matches based on Groups and Events they’re interested in.
Sharing to Instagram Stories
Instagram is testing new ways for users to share content directly to Stories from other apps. Users can tap a share button in the Spotify and GoPro apps (Instagram will be integrating other apps soon), and pull content directly into the Instagram camera to edit and add to their Stories.
Augmented Reality Tools
AR for the Messenger Platform
Facebook is launching, in closed beta, a feature that will integrate the Camera Effects Platform into Messenger. When customers interact with businesses in Messenger, they will have the opportunity to try filters and AR effects that help them virtually try on or customize products before they buy. They can then save the images or videos to their camera roll, or share them to their story, in a group or in a conversation.
AR Camera Effects for Instagram
Facebook introduced the AR camera platform last year at F8; this year, it expanded it to Instagram. The AR Studio on Instagram will enable developers to create AR experiences, including face filters and world effects, for their followers. The closed beta test will involve partners including BuzzFeed, Vogue, Kylie Jenner and the NBA.
Virtual Reality Experiences
Virtual reality has been a priority for Facebook for several years, and the company announced several new VR experiences at the F8 conference:
Oculus’ first standalone VR headset is now available for global purchase. It contains more than 1,000 experiences, games and apps, and its $199 price tag is more affordable than products like the Oculus Rift.
New VR Apps
Several new apps – Oculus Venues, Rooms and TV – will offer users VR experiences where they can connect with friends through games, live social events and on-demand content.
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