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F8 2019 Highlights | Mark Zuckerberg: “The Future is Private”

We all waited for Facebook’s annual developers’ conference: F8. The Facebook team hosted the opening conference keynote. We waited to see what Mark Zuckerberg will fetch to the community this time, and he didn’t disappoint. The major theme of the conference was ‘Privacy’. Not surprising after all the privacy issue they’ve been facing lately. The company announced many updates of their apps and services, that will supposedly solve many data privacy issues.

Join more groups and customize you Newsfeed!

Facebook will roll out FB5, the fifth version of Facebook layout, with a cleaner and lighter design. The FB5 is stripped from the brand’s heavy blue taht we’re all used to see. FB5 will be accompanied by an updated logo as well.

Content of groups will be more visible on the Newsfeed with a new groups’ tab. The Newsfeed will be more customized to the groups a user joins, instead of generalized feed. People will have access to many new features such as: ‘Meet new friends’ that will be suggested based on common employers or schools. Also, group features will be visible on other Facebook sections.

The Messenger App will be faster and will have many new features. They claim that the new version of the app will be “light speed’ and even the fastest messenger app nowadays.  Also a Messenger desktop version will be launched for macOs and Windows. Users will be able to share more of their interests on Messenger and watch videos together. To enhance customer experience, all Facebook messaging apps will be combined to create, according to the company, “the best private messaging experience.”

On WhatsApp’s side, the company direct payments on the app last year in India, and they hope that it will soon be easy to process payment on whatspApp, as it is to send photos.

The company did not go in detail about the implications of the aforementioned Newsfeed changes on businesses and their advertising strategies. Users should expect to see the changes of Facebook layout and Newsfeed within these two weeks.

Match with your Secret Crush directly on Facebook!

Facebook will play matchmaker. Yes, you read it right! Facebook announced in this year’s F8, that after a trial in some countries last year, Facebook Dating: Secret Crush will officially expand to more countries.  The ‘Secret Crush’ feature allows people to choose their crush and only alert them if they do the same in return. It sounds familiar huh..

Users looking for romance on the virtual world don’t have to go to a new app anymore. Users can stay active on Facebook, and even better, choose crushes from their own friends’ list.

With Facebook Dating and the emphasis on groups and the “digital living room” concept, the company is set to gather valuable data about user’s behavior and personal preferences and interests. Brands will have more valuable and intimate data to better target their audiences.

Purchase your favorite items from your influencers!

Instagram is a different  from Facebook and has a different community. People see the platform as a friendly space but also very performance oriented in terms of posts’ types and quality. Now, users can shop directly on Instagram from influencers and public figures. You can check the tagged items and directly buy them on Instagram, without having to take a screenshot and go to a new app, or to remember to go back and check the items you liked later.

A new Instagram camera was presented: ‘Create Mode’. This new feature will provide users with a “workspace” to create – from scratch- interesting posts with no need to upload any additional elements. This feature will also ensure to lengthen users’ active time on the app, since they don’t have to access another app to work on their creative posts.

…and for the charitable souls: ‘Donation Stickers’ for IG stories. People can donate money within the app to nonprofits, and Instagram will not take any profit from it. It seems that the Facebook family is really working on that reputation of theirs!

Direct shopping on Instagram will change Influencers’ game. Meaning that people will buy things based on recommendations rather than display ads. User will stay on app longer and the company will gather huge a lot of insights on user’s purchasing behavior.

So, what does all of this mean to Facebook?

It is evident that Facebook is still on the quest of changing user behavior through the suggested updates. Customizing the news feed with groups and events content will be more meaningful for users. Because this update will emphasize intimate interaction between users with similar interests. This will result in creating smaller communities within the large digital community, or as Facebook mentioned during the conference, to make Facebook like a ‘Digital Living Room’.  Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company has lost the trust of many users and with good reason. He stated that all of the updates and new features aim to help people connect with loved ones, and said:”I believe the future is private.”

We still have to see how businesses and brands will deal with these updates. They have to be agile and adapt their marketing strategies to these changes. They have to build on new strategies to connect with their customers, through private spaces: groups. If brands can capitalize on these updates with suitable marketing strategies, they will be able to strengthen connections with customers and stay ahead of competition.

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