F8, Facebook’s annual conference, occurred this past month and during the event CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced several exciting new features coming to the company’s Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger platforms. The new additions announced are specifically designed to challenge other social networking apps such as Snapchat and Tinder, and more importantly go back to the company’s original purpose of bringing people together and giving friends and families a place to connect and keep in touch.
Here’s a breakdown of all the things that will be soon coming our way:
- Watch Party: Similar to Facebook Live or Twitch, this is a live stream option that allows you to create a private group with friends, the purpose of which is to create a more personal approach to communicating via live video. Zuckerberg gave an example of this feature by using his hearing with the Senate and demonstrating the closed group he set up with friends vs. the very public Facebook Live stream.
- Groups Tab: This feature will bring all your groups together in one place allowing it to be “more central to the overall Facebook experience” and function more like a newsfeed
- Dating: This is the new feature that has received the most buzz. The dating feature matches you up with others on the social network. If you opt-in for a dating profile, your friends won’t be able to see the profile and it will only match you with a user you are not friends with.
- Topic Channels: Currently, the explore feature on Instagram consists of an endless feed of images related to content we might be interested in. In a move to refine how people discover content that interests them, the new Topic Channels will allow viewers to browse through images related to their hobbies and other interests.
- Video Chat: Very similar to FaceTime, users can video chat on Instagram with a large group or one-on-one via the app. They can even minimize the video to chat while continuing to browse through Instagram.
- AR Camera Effects: These new augmented reality camera effects were first announced for Facebook during last year’s F8 conference. This new feature is now coming to Instagram allowing users to take photos or videos with virtual effects in the frame.
- Redesign: Messenger will be coming out with a simpler, cleaner look, designed to provide a faster experience for the app.
- AR Camera Effects: Facebook will also be utilizing the new augmented reality effects into messenger.
While a few of these big announcements won’t really impact the ways we use the platforms for digital marketing, we think it’s always good to be aware of all the upcoming changes and how we can utilize them to develop new ways of building out social media campaigns. Ultimately, Zuckerberg is quickly working toward his promise to make these platforms more about maintaining contact with family and friends and interacting with content that is important to the individual. What this could potentially mean for brands is that user engagement will continue to grow, making these social media platforms a premium place to reach your customer through detailed targeting.