Facebook made a few announcements at their F8 developer conference. This year’s event had an emphasis on Facebook building a more privacy-focused social platform.
Facebook also announced FB5 which is their fresh new design for the platform that is simpler, faster and more immersive. The new design brings a bigger emphasis on groups with the ability to find new ones or participate easier.
The company is also adding a new feature to Facebook Dating called Secret Crush which allows you to opt-in to discover potential matches within your own communities on the platform. You can select up to nine of your Facebook friends who you want to express interest in and if your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying someone has a crush on them.
The new desktop site and features are rolling out over the next few months.
In addition, Facebook’s Portal smart display will be available in Canada in June and coming to Europe in the fall. Facebook is also adding the ability to see Flash Briefings, smart home control and the Prime Video app later this year.
You’ll also be able to use WhatsApp on Portal for end-to-end encryption calls to your friends and family. No Canadian pricing has been announced for Portal or Portal+.
Facebook is in the midst of making Messenger faster and lighter. Meaning that the app should open faster and dive straight into your chats.
A new feature coming to Messenger later this year is the ability to watch videos together in real time.
The company also announced that a desktop app for Messenger is in the works for Windows and macOS and should be available later this year after internal testing.
Facebook is also making it easier for business to communicate with its customers on Messenger with the ability to create appointments and more.
For Instagram users, Facebook is making it easier to shop from your favourite creators. This will be in the form of simply being able to tap on what your favourite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot.
This shopping feature will be tested with a few creators next week and roll out globally later this year.
The camera in Instagram is getting a new design that has Create Mode that lets your share without a photo or video and use tools like effects, stickers and more.
The highly-anticipated Oculus Quest is almost here. Facebook announced that the Oculus Quest is set to launch on May 21st.
The Oculus Quest is an all-in-one VR system, meaning you don’t need to be tethered to a PC to use it. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6 Degrees-of-Freedom, a display with a resolution of 1600×1440 per eye, built-in headphones and lens spacing.
There will be more than 50 games available for the Oculus Quest including:
- Beat Saber (Beat Games): Keep the beat as you slash through the cubes. This demo includes a tutorial and two songs in different difficulty levels.
- Creed (Survios): Become Adonis Creed, fighting to establish your legacy in the ring and beyond. In this demo, you’ll have one match to face off against a challenger in the ring.
- Journey of the Gods (Turtle Rock Studios): Play as human or god as you collect items, earn upgrades, and fight foes in this visually stunning title. With three difficulty levels, this demo features condensed versions of the tutorial and first boss fight.
- Space Pirate Trainer (I-Illusions): Fight off relentless waves of droids with all the weapons and gadgets you’d ever need as a Space Pirate. This demo lets you play through the first action-packed wave and challenge the first boss.
- Sports Scramble (Armature): A zany, fast-paced twist on traditional sports, this demo lets you play a tennis match against either an AI opponent or your friends and family in two-player online multiplayer.
Coming later this year to Quest and Rift S is Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series.
The Quest also comes with motion controllers and charges via USB-C. The Oculus Quest costs $549 CAD ($399 USD) for the 64GB model and $699 CAD ($499 USD) for the 128GB model.
Meanwhile, the Oculus Rift S, which is an updated version of the standard Rift with an improved design, display with a resolution of 1280×1440 per eye and inside-out 6DOF tracking like the Oculus Quest.
The Rift S is compatible with games and apps for the original Rift and comes with Oculus Touch controllers. The Rift S does require a PC to run.
The Oculus Rift S also ships on May 21st. In terms of pricing, the Rift S costs $549 CAD ($399 USD).
Both the Oculus Quest and Rift S are available for pre-order from Oculus’ website.