Highlights from the first day of Facebook’s F8 annual developer conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday include adding a touch of Tinder to the social network’s flagship mobile applications and a new way for people to share content from other apps to Stories on both Facebook and Instagram. Highlights follow:
Facebook said it will begin testing a feature for dating and relationships within its flagship mobile apps later this year.
Users will be able to create dating profiles that are separate from their Facebook Timelines, and activity within the dating feature will not be shared with their friends.
The social network said people using the dating feature will be able to discover others using the feature by similar interests via groups and events, adding in a Newsroom post: “People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better. 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.”
Sharing to Stories
Spotify and GoPro are the apps helping Facebook to break in its new way to enable users to share content from their favorite apps to their Stories on Facebook and Instagram.
Users can tap the share button in Spotify or GoPro and pull their content directly into the respective cameras on Facebook and Instagram, after which it can be added to their Stories on either platform, News Feed on Facebook or sent via Instagram Direct messages.
Facebook said people do not have to connect their Facebook or Instagram accounts to other apps in order to use this new feature.
Instagram redesigned its Explore section, organizing its content into topic channels. The Facebook-owned photo-and video-sharing network said the new Explore tab will roll out “over the coming weeks.”
Instagram video chat
Also, in the coming weeks, real-time video chat is coming to Instagram Direct. Instagram said in a blog post “To start a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. You can chat one-on-one or with a small group—and you can keep the conversation going for as long as you like. You can also minimize the video and continue the chat while doing other things on Instagram.”
Camera effects platform for Instagram
Third parties can now design “unique, interactive camera experiences”—including face filters, text styles and stickers—for users to add to their content.
Instagram said users who see new effects in Stories from accounts they follow can tap “Try it on” to add those tools to their trays, adding that new effects are coming soon from accounts including Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue and Buzzfeed.
Facebook groups tab
Facebook plans to introduce a groups tab later this year, giving people easier access to groups they are already in, as well as a new way to discover and join new groups.
Facebook is enhancing the Crisis Response center it introduced last September with the addition of “a feature that will enable people affected by a crisis to share firsthand accounts of timely information, like road closures and damage photos and videos, making it easier to get real-time updates.” The social network said the update will roll out later this year.
Facebook launched a tool in India last September enabling users to sign up to be blood donors, and that tool was expanded to Bangladesh and Pakistan later in 2017.
Tuesday, Facebook revealed that people in those three countries will be able to view nearby blood donation camps, requests for blood donations and blood banks in one central location on the social network.
WhatsApp group calling and stickers
Finally, the social network announced that group calling will be added to its WhatsApp messaging app “in the months ahead,” and stickers will be added soon, as well.