Facebook talks about its India plans, discusses India-specific camera filters, community building and more

Facebook organised a special experiences event today in New Delhi where it talked about India specific updates and features for its apps. It also showcased its range of apps including WhatsApp, Instagram as well as demos of the Safety Check feature, Oculus VR and 360 camera.

The core announcement was around Facebook and how the company is focusing on community building, consumer experiences and safety. Facebook also said that it now has more than 184 million active monthly users in India.

The social media giant spoke about how the platform is becoming more engaging through its community groups. Adit Vaidya, Facebook Groups Product Lead, mentioned that they are trying to bring together people who don't know each other, but have common interests. Community groups are bringing people closer to like-minded people to engage and communicate about what they like, dislike, or even share a common goal. While he didn't say much about how they are ranking or prioritizing these groups, he did mention that certain recommendations are given to users by analyzing their activity, including the pages they like.

Facebook Frames India Tech2 720

"Facebook is slowly moving towards a more visual social network," said Vaidya. While the text status update is available to users since the beginning, Facebook wants users to indulge in its new camera feature. According to the company, one can use the camera to take a picture or video and send it to a friend directly, post it as a status message for all of his/her friends or add it as a story which automatically deletes itself after 24 hours. Some new 'Frames' were also announced, which are basically geo-location-based filters made specifically for India. These can be accessed on the new camera feature inside the Facebook app. The Reactions feature, which includes "Love", "Haha", "Wow", "Sad" and "Angry", apart from Like button, will now be available on the Facebook Lite app later this month.

Safety Check was another feature that was highlighted at the event. Launched back in 2015 after the tragic earthquake in Nepal, this feature lets users mark themselves safe in case of a natural calamity or a non-natural disaster. As a further addition, this tool can be used by ones affected to ask for or offer help.

Apart from the announcements, the event saw multiple interactive demos and sessions around live pictures and videos on all the Facebook owned apps, a 360-degree showcase of the Safety Check features, Oculus VR experience via the new Gear VR headset, and more. A Facebook representative also confirmed that the original Oculus VR is not coming to India as of yet.


Published Date: Apr 26, 2017 02:50 pm | Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 02:50 pm