Facebook F8 Conference: WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and other expected announcements

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 30 Apr 2019
Facebook F8 Conference: WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and other expected announcements
  • Two-day Facebook F8 conference to be held from April 30.
  • The company may announce privacy-related updates.
  • Facebook suite of apps may also see new consumer-centric announcements.

Every year, Facebook hosts a conference where the developer community that builds products and services around the website are invited. Called Facebook F8, the two-day conference will be held in San Jose, California from April 30. The annual conference will provide the attendees networking opportunities, deep-dive sessions and product demos that showcase the latest developments in the space of Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR/VR, and new tools that help build new products for consumers. Those who are interested can catch the action live from 10pm (IST) on April 30 here.

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The conference comes on the heels of Facebook’s announcement of its first quarter (2019) earnings. The Menlo Park-based company’s first-quarter profit dropped to $2.43 billion from $4.99 billion on year-over-year basis. Facebook also said that it has kept aside a sum of $3 billion in connection with the FTC inquiry. The firm, however, registered an 8 percent increase each in both Daily Active Users (1.56 billion on average)  and Monthly Active Users (2.38 billion). “We had a good quarter and our business and community continue to grow. We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said.

Taking a cue from this, here is a list of announcements that we may witness at the conference.

Privacy

Facebook was mired in several controversies last year, and the company may be looking to address those issues. In fact, Zuckerberg has already apprised people about his vision of a privacy-focused social networking in a 3200-word letter. So this year at F8, we may see announcements which would help the platform to operate keeping in mind the users’ privacy. There is a possibility that the company may announce AI-powered enforcements that could help mitigate the privacy problems that the company is facing.

WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger update

Facebook is one of a few companies that directly connects with the masses. For this, it has apps like WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. Facebook has already announced that it will introduce new features and updates to Facebook’s family of apps, “that will help build community and bring the world closer together.” These apps have grown exponentially under one umbrella company, and out of the three, WhatsApp has been witnessing tweaks and updates the most.

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We could see announcements regarding the support of making voice as well as video calls from WhatsApp Web/Desktop. There have been a lot of stories surrounding the Dark Mode, and given the Silicon Valley’s inclination of incorporating the native Dark Mode, it is expected that the company may announce the updates on the roll out of this feature. Further, WhatsApp may also get a support for Animated Stickers and the feature might be presented at the conference.

VR and AR

Last year, Facebook launched the Oculus Go, its mobile VR headset, at F8 Conference, and this year may also see some important announcements. Oculus has already launched the Oculus Quest, and most recently, it unveiled the Oculus Rift S. Now both the device are priced the same at $399, however, there is not particular launch date for both of these devices. We may see Facebook announcing the exact launch date of both of these products.

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Just like other tech giants, Facebook has also been using AR in its products, Instagram and Messenger. Facebook has provided a set of tools called Spark AR Studio to developers so that they can develop camera-based effects, hence, we may see some new announcements in this space as well. Reportedly, Facebook has 10 AR-related sessions scheduled during the two-day event.

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