Facebook recently has its “F8” developers conference at the end of April. This is always an important time for Facebook, because the company unveils what it’s working on, and what developers should expect in the coming years. Zuckerberg gets up and gives a speech about the ways Facebook wants to progress, too. Taken altogether, you can glean a lot of knowledge about how Facebook will be changing in the near future – and this conference certainly didn’t disappoint.
We got a large information dump with many important updates, promised new features, and a whole lot of clues about what Facebook will be doing. While many of the details are still up for speculations, it’s definitely worth looking at what we’ve learned so far. Here’s a handy summary of the biggest news pieces from the F8 conference.
A big theme of Zuckerberg’s talk and other announcements was privacy – and how Facebook will be getting a lot more of it Basically, Facebook wants to make it very clear that users will be able to interact with each other without the fear of anyone spying or collecting their data. This feels like damage control: Facebook hasn’t been very great about this in the past, and it’s probably one of the top complaints that users have about the service.
New Layouts and Designs
Facebook has seen plenty of incremental changes to its look, but this may change soon. Expect new layouts and designs for Facebook’s social network and related apps. Frankly, this is long overdue – Facebook needs slimming down and decluttering, and this may finally be the year where we see it happen.
Facebook Groups Get a New Focus
The new Facebook redesign will apparently be focused on Groups. Groups won’t just be one more added-on feature to clutter your news feed, but an integral part of the network that will be available no matter what you’re doing. We have mixed feelings about this. Facebook Groups can be a very effective method of networking and brand awareness for companies that are willing to work on it. However, Groups can also isolate people from exploring other brands or encountering new information.
More Facebook Analytics and Workplace Compatibility
Facebook also announced a new Analytics mobile app which makes it much easier to check the status of your Facebook campaigns. New tech will also include more top-down looks at customer experiences will all your Facebook content and tools – essentially creating a Facebook sales funnel for businesses to examine. This coincides nicely with new compatibility for very popular business apps such as Sharepoint, SurveyMonkey, share extensions, and so on. This makes us feel a lot better about the future of chatbots and other valuable sales tools.
A New Facebook Messenger
Facebook doesn’t appear sure what it wants Messenger to be right now, but it is planning on creating a new version to replace the old chat app. It’s going to be a lot faster and a lot simpler to use, or so Facebook promises. This is good news for businesses that communicate on Facebook, although it could make the future of chatbots and similar tools uncertain – especially when you consider the new encryption and privacy options that Facebook will be building into the service.
“Reduced Permanence” and Clear History
Along with promising more privacy, Facebook also announced the intention to release a Clear History feature. This will, apparently, allow you to see all the data Facebook has on you and, and remove it whenever you want. They likened it to clearing your browser of cache and cookies, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it…and should help ease privacy concerns.
Better Security and Safety
Facebook is getting a security upgrade! This is going to include end-to-end encryption while using Facebook and any of the Facebook family of apps. Basically, it will make it harder for hackers to steal Facebook data and any information communicated through Facebook, which is a plus for both businesses and private users. Part of this strategy seems to include better data storage and server security as well.
The App Review Process is Back On
After the Cambridge Analytica disaster, Facebook froze its app review process and basically said, “No more new apps until we figure out what to do.” Now, with these new privacy plans on the way, Facebook is again resuming its app review processes and is accepting new apps. This is ultimately good news for businesses, which have already benefited so much from Facebook’s applications of new technology.
Instagram Shopping and Exploring Upgrades
Instagram is also getting a lot of changes, and they all seem like great news for businesses. The Explore section is getting redesigned to make it easier for users to see new things that they may be interested in. Shopping is also getting a lot easier on Instagram, with new features to buy directly from “Creators” and a new set of Creator tools that allow for more user interaction – somewhat similar to the upgrades that Facebook business pages recently received!