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Facebook's F8 Conference Day 1 Wrap Up: WhatsApp Group Calling, Instagram Updates and More

Here are some of the announcements made on the day one of F8 annual event.

Updated:May 2, 2018, 4:02 PM IST
Facebook's F8 Conference Day 1 Wrap Up: WhatsApp Group Calling, Instagram Updates and More
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about a dating feature at Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California. (Image: Reuters)
On Tuesday, Facebook’s global developer community gathered in San Jose for F8, an annual two-day event where developers come together to explore the future of technology. Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the day with a keynote on how the company is taking a broader view of their responsibility. He discussed company’s responsibility to keep building new services that bring people together in meaningful new ways across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus. Other keynote speakers on day one included Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Instagram Product Managers Jyoti Sood and Shilpa Sarkar, Instagram Data Science Manager Tamar Shapiro, WhatsApp Director Mubarik Imam, VP of Messaging Products David Marcus, VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong, VP of VR Hugo Barra, and Head of Social VR Rachel Franklin.

Here are some of the announcements made on the day one of F8 annual event:

Clear History

Facebook announced plans to build Clear History. This feature will enable you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, delete this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward. Learn more here.

Sharing to Stories
Facebook introduced a new way for people to share from their favorite apps to both Facebook and Instagram Stories. People already share their interests on these platforms, and now the company is making that experience faster, easier and more creative on Stories. Now you just need to tap the share button in an app like Spotify to share what you’re listening to directly into the camera. From there you can edit and share to your story or feed. You don’t have to connect your Facebook or Instagram account to other apps in order to share to Stories.

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Facebook is building a feature for dating and relationships within the app. People already use Facebook to meet new people. People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile — and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. 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. The company will share more information when this begins testing later this year.

AR Camera Effects for Instagram

Last year at F8 the company announced the AR camera platform, and yesterday they brought it to Instagram. Using AR Studio, creators will be able to design unique, interactive camera experiences, including face filters and world effects, for their followers on Instagram.

Video Chat
Video chat will be available in Instagram Direct and will empower both one-on-one and group conversations.

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New Explore
The company is redesigning Explore to make it easier to discover things you’re interested in. The new Explore will organize suggested content into relevant topic channels, making it easier to browse across your interests, while going deeper into any specific area.

Video chat and the new Explore are both testing now and will soon be rolling out globally. Read more in Instagram’s blog post here.

WhatsApp Group Calling and Stickers

Voice and video calling are very popular on WhatsApp, and the company has announced that group calling will be coming in the months ahead. Stickers are also coming to WhatsApp soon.

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AR for the Messenger Platform

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.

M Translations
Now when people who connect through Marketplace receive a message in a language that is different from their default language in Messenger, M will ask if they want to translate the message. At launch, translations from English to Spanish (and vice-versa) will be available in Marketplace conversations taking place in the US. We plan to expand this feature and gradually roll out M suggestions for translations to people using Messenger in the US in the coming weeks. Learn more here.
| Edited by: Ayushmann Chawla
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