Facebook Messenger will soon work with WhatsApp and Instagram

Facebook launches major redesign of app, website following series of public sharing scandals

Facebook Messenger will soon work with WhatsApp and Instagram

"As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever", Zuckerberg said as he opened the F8 developer conference for the social networking giant.

When he added that "I know that we don't exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly", he was met with deafening silence and grinned awkwardly. "But I'm committed to doing this well, and to starting a new chapter for our products".

Zuckerberg also revealed that the redesign will de-emphasised the News Feed, and drops the signature blue banner that has been on the app since its launch. The re-engineered app will be available later this year, and the company did not announce plans for a similar version on Android - which already has Facebook Lite.

If we had to summarize Facebook's most important changes from the FB5 redesign, we would pick the following ones. If one of your crushes then adds you to their Secret Crush list, a match is made. The six principles of this private social network would be: private communications, end-to-end encryption, reducing permanence, safety, interoperability among all Facebook's apps, and secure data storage.

But Zuckerberg is promising change, beginning with a more privacy-focused service with "simple, intimate spaces where you have complete confidence that what you say and do is private, and clear control over who you're communicating with". The tool is undergoing testing in countries such as Colombia and Canada, and will roll out to 14 more countries today and to the United States later this year.

The new option to communicate through a Messenger app designed for personal computers is part of Zuckerberg's plan to emphasize more private ways for Facebook users to communicate instead of encouraging them to share everything on their personal pages. "As Facebook pivots to small groups and people-to-people connections, the opportunities for organic engagement within the Facebook walled garden will become even more of a destination where consumers will have to visit brands digitally, and less of an organic or native experience within social platforms". If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. Despite, the company's motives, the feature should attract some who have avoided Messenger for just that reason. Internal documents released by a United Kingdom parliamentary committee past year showed that Facebook understood the value of this data trove, and used it successfully to bolster its business and defeat the competition. The ongoing F8 developer conference in San José presented a row of new and revised features on day one. The dedicated app will also allow users to "collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger". A global payment system will also be unveiled soon and will be named WhatsApp Pay. Only people in each other's contact books will be able to see such updates.

While counterintuitive, Facebook sees the change as potentially bringing people with opposing political viewpoints together rather than separating them in "filter bubbles".

Two of the newest virtual reality headsets from the company, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S, start shipping May 21.

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