Published: Thu, May 02, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Facebook Debuts New Look And Features To Help Move Past ‘Old Issues’

Facebook Debuts New Look And Features To Help Move Past ‘Old Issues’

"Haha, good times", one Twitter user said, reminding the online community of the Cambridge Analytica scandal previous year, in which it was revealed that a British political consulting firm had purchased information on over 87 million Facebook users.

Then there also is the new away mode that is going to be integrated into Instagram.

This should perhaps come as no surprise - Facebook had hinted on combining all these platforms before, or at least the messaging component on each, into a unified service.

"I get that a lot of people aren't sure that we're serious about this", Mr. Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg's privacy push also led to a redesign of the company's main social network, unveiled at F8, to focus on groups and communities - a shift from the open-sharing model he built the company around.

A "Meet New Friends" feature being gradually rolled out will let users opt in to getting acquainted with others interested in fresh connections in shared communities.

However, Facebook Dating is still not available in the US. This is still in the testing stage but will roll out later this year.

So it's perhaps for brand reputation reasons - or its $3bn+ battle with the Federal Trade Commission - that Facebook is outwardly pivoting to provide users with less of a "town square" to play in, and more with a "living room" they can comfortably share with friends, to borrow Zuckerberg's on-stage analogy.

The new direction follows heavy scrutiny of Facebook's management of user data.

New pictures of Princess Charlotte released on her fourth birthday
The Duchess of Cambridge has released pictures she has taken of her three children on a number of occasions in the past. In the third photo , the mini royal model wears a blue, floral summer dress and matching navy blue shoes.

Facebook has made some pretty major announcements at the opening of their F8 2019 developer conference as they continue to try and evolve the business and at the same time try to stop the continuous exodus of people unhappy with the platform.

A new "Secret Crush" feature will allow users to select up to nine of their friends they express interest in. A year later, the tool, which BuzzFeed News reported was a last-minute addition by Zuck in an effort to gain some positive press, still hasn't launched, and it didn't even get a passing mention on the F8 stage this year.

Zuckerberg revealed WhatsApp is debuting a payments product in India.

Besides interoperability, Facebook also announced an official desktop client for Messenger on Mac and Windows, due later this year.

An "Events" tab will expedite making real world, local plans with online friends.

He also said moving forward, the firm won't hold onto messages or stories for "longer than necessary" or 'longer than people want them'. "As a result, users chatting with a business will be able to see a showcase of that business" products at the same time. The new look, featured below, cleans up the user interface and puts only the most important elements - Search, a sleeker Menu bar, the Stories section, a Sidebar, Contacts, and, of course, the News Feed - front and center. Influencers will also be able to offer products directly for purchase.

In an age where a small number of tech giants own huge swathes of social media and digital services (Google, Apple, Facebook, and the like), even a single conference event from one such company can have wide repercussions for the way we consume media day to day. The dedicated app will also allow users to "collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger".

Facebook also disclosed plans to start selling its video calling device, Portal, in Canada and Europe later this year.

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