Major updates are going to rock Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks. According to announcements made by Mark Zuckerberg and his team during Facebook’s F8 developer conference last month, the upcoming changes will be focused on making these sister platforms more private and more social.
Zuckerberg said that “the future is private,” so Facebook and Instagram are working towards connecting people without endangering the user’s privacy. We all know that last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal has created a huge impact for the billions of Facebook users, so Zuckerberg and his team are working polishing Facebook’s privacy and security features.
The conference revealed upcoming updates to Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Groups, and other Facebook core services. Here are some of the noteworthy changes that marketers and business owners have to watch for.
Facebook has announced earlier that it will be downplaying the News Feed, but did not elaborate on how it’s going to be done. After the developer conference, Facebook’s plans have become clearer. In an update, which Zuckerberg nicknamed as FB5, Facebook is going to highlight the Groups and Events services by creating a Groups tab. This tab is where you’ll see all the updates from all the groups you have joined, instead of the previous scattered updates on your News Feed. Group interactions will also show up when you’re checking out other Facebook services.
Aside from this, Facebook is gearing towards expanding the user’s social circles by introducing the new feature called Meet New Friends. This lets you meet strangers who you have something in common with, such as common friends, school, or employer.
Instagram is going to experience a new camera interface a new mode called Create Mode. This new feature lets users share other content aside from traditional images and videos. The platform is also expanding its online shopping feature for artists, athletes, and other individual creators to sell their work online.
And here’s some bad news for people who are obsessed with Likes or those who base their content preferences on popularity. Instagram is testing a system that will remove the Like counter on every post. The owner of the post will still be able to see these numbers, but users who are browsing the newsfeed won’t be able to see them. The system is being tested in Canada, and if all goes well, it will be rolled out globally in the next few months.
The News Feed will no longer be the highlight of the main Facebook app, and this will reshape how you interact with your friend using Messenger. Soon you’ll be able to set status messages or share photos with contacts that you like. But the major update that will come for Messenger is its new design. The iOS Messenger app is going to be trimmed down to 30MB, a lot smaller than the original size. If you’re using Facebook Messenger on desktop, you won’t have to open it on a different tab anymore because Facebook will be releasing desktop apps for Mac and PC soon.
Facebook has introduced a dating app last year, and this year, the app is going to expand to more countries. A new feature, called Secret Crush, lets users create a secret list of your crush, regardless of whether they have a dating profile or not. If your crush also added you to his or her list, Facebook will notify you both that there’s a match.
Facebook is always working toward improving how users connect with their friends and family. Some of the updates announced during the developer’s conference are already being rolled out, but some of them are still in the testing phase and might take a couple of weeks or months before being implemented.