The Facebook F8 developer conference started today, and the company has just finished its opening speech. Its overwhelming theme, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is that "the future is private". After a year plagued by controversy over whether Facebook is invading the privacy of its users and fostering social division, it is pushing to help people connect with close family and friends.
During the presentation, Facebook announced updates to Instagram, Facebook Messenger and the main Facebook service. We also received more news about the Oculus Quest and Rift S virtual reality headsets, and about a new dating feature that could trigger some very intense interactions between you and your friends.
Facebook is redesigning into groups and events
Facebook recently said it would begin to downplay the news, and after the keynote of the F8, we know more about what that means. In an update that Zuckerberg calls "FB5", Facebook will highlight groups and events, creating a tab of prominent groups and a personalized source of the groups you've joined, instead of a source of generalized updating of your friends. The group interaction options will be displayed while you browse other parts of Facebook as well.
The redesign is also supposed to help people expand their social circles. It includes a feature called Meet New Friends, which connects strangers who have something in common (such as a school or employer). And it also offers an easier way to find events near you. Android and iOS applications are being updated immediately; the desktop site will be renewed in the coming months.
Instagram has new camera features and less featured likes
Instagram has the reputation of being one of the friendliest places on the web, but also one of the most competitive performative. So Facebook offers more ways to interact with followers while minimizing statistics that can stress people. It is updating the camera interface and adding a new "Creation Mode", which makes it easier to share content beyond traditional photos and videos, such as questionnaires. Instagram is also expanding a feature that allows people to buy products from the app, opening it to artists, athletes and other creators as well as companies.
Meanwhile, Instagram is testing a system that will almost completely hide the "likes" in the person. so you can "focus on the photos and videos you share, not the amount of" I like "you receive." The show will be tested in Canada and, if popular, we could see it in other countries.  Facebook Messenger will focus on "intimate friends"
Facebook is pushing the news service towards the margins in its main application, but it is also reformulating Facebook Messenger as a way to keep up with their friends. You can set status messages or share photos with people you like and trust, which possibly facilitates the organization of offline sessions.
Messenger is actually getting a great update in general. On iOS, it is being redesigned to take up less space on your phone; the new version will be less than 30 MB, approximately 20 percent of its current size. And if you use Messenger on the desktop, you will not have to keep it in the browser tab, since this year Facebook will launch desktop applications for Mac and PC.
Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest arrive next month
Unlike last year, we did not really have the release of a VR headset in F8. But the pre-orders for Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S, two new headphones that replace the external tracking cameras with an inside-out system much easier to use, were opened. The Quest and Rift S cost $ 399 and are shipped on May 21 in 22 countries.
The Quest is a stand-alone console aimed at a mass market, and we were impressed with its comfort and performance, but less happy with its price and limited power. The Rift S is an incremental update of the Oculus Rift 2016, which adds an internal tracking and a new design … but not much more.
Facebook will help you connect with your crush
Facebook introduced a dating service in last year's F8. Today, he announced that Facebook Dating is expanding to 14 more countries. In addition, he introduced a feature called "Secret Crush", which does exactly what you would expect. You can create a secret list of Facebook friends that appeal to you, whether or not they have a dating profile. If they are also using Secret Crush, and they add you to their list, Facebook will notify the two that there is a match.
Mark Zuckerberg admitted in his opening speech that many people distrust Facebook, and that Facebook has given them a good reason to do so. But he emphasized all the ways in which Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and even Oculus headsets can help you connect with the people you love. We'll probably see much more of that in the coming months, as Facebook withstands harsh public criticism and legal battles.