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'Privacy-focused' Facebook unveils new look, features


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote introducing new Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram privacy features at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on April 30, 2019


San Francisco: In yet another bid to make its platforms "privacy-focused" amid close scrutiny into its privacy practices from governments the world over, Facebook has unveiled new looks and features for Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Addressing nearly 5,000 developers at its annual F8 conference in San Jose, California late Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg said gaining users' trust is his top agenda.

"I know we don't exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now. I am committed to doing this well," he told the gathering.

In his keynote, Zuckerberg said Facebook is building a more "privacy-focused" social platform -- giving people spaces where they can express themselves freely and feel connected to the people and communities that matter most.

"This is a fundamental shift in how we build products and run our company," the Facebook CEO added.

According to Facebook, as of March, it has 1.56 billion daily active users and 2.38 billion monthly active users.

Facebook announced it is re-building the architecture of Messenger from the ground up to be faster and lighter than ever before.

"This completely re-engineered Messenger will begin to roll out later this year," said Asha Sharma, Director, Messenger Consumer Product.

Messenger will now let you discover and watch videos from Facebook together in real time.

Users will be able to seamlessly share a video from the Facebook app on Messenger and invite others to watch together while messaging or on a video chat.

Sharma said that users will soon be able to send messages across messaging platforms: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook also announced a Messenger Desktop app. Which can be downloaded on desktop -- both Windows and MacOS -- and have group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger.

Facebook Messenger would soon have a dedicated space where you can discover Stories and messages with your closest friends and family.

Ami Vora, VP Product Management for WhatsApp said that in the months ahead, people will be able to see a business catalog right within WhatsApp when chatting with a business.

"With catalogs, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them," Vora announced.

The company unveiled "FB5", a fresh new design for the main app Facebook that's faster and more immersive.

"Overall, we've made it easier to find what you're looking for and get to your most-used features. People will start seeing some of these updates in the Facebook app right away, and the new desktop site will come in the next few months," said Fidji Simo, Head of the Facebook App.

Today, more than 400 million people on Facebook belong to a Group.

Facebook said it has completely redesigned the Groups tab which now shows a personalized feed of activity.

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram said that starting next week, "you can shop inspiring looks from the creators you love without leaving Instagram".

Instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or Direct, you can simply tap to see exactly what your favourite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot.

"We'll begin testing this with a small group of creators next week, with plans to expand access over time," said Mosseri.

In the coming weeks, Facebook would introduce a new camera design including Create Mode, which gives users an easy way to share without a photo or video.

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