Facebook F8 Day 1 Highlights: Dating comes to facebook, Instagram gets AR stickers and video calling, Whatsapp gets group video chat

Facebook's F8 kicks off at 10:30 pm IST live from San Jose with Zuckerberg's keynote being one of the first of many by management and senior executives.

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  • 00:18 (IST)

    Thanks for joining us

    We seem to be done with the major announcements for the day.

    Once again, thank you for joining us. Do check back in tomorrow for more in-depth coverage of all that's happening at Facebook's annual developer conference.

  • 00:16 (IST)

    Thanks for joining us

    We seem to be done with the major announcements for the day.

    Once again, thank you for joining us. Do check back in tomorrow for more in-depth coverage of all that's happening at Facebook's annual developer conference.

  • 23:57 (IST)

    The future of Messenger...

    Stickers, location shares, group video calls, customised chat, etc. Messenger's looking more and more like Apple Messages now.

  • 23:53 (IST)

    Talk to anyone, anywhere

    M Translations are coming to Messenger. You'll soon have the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere in any language.

  • 23:50 (IST)

    David Marcus on stage to discuss Messenger

    The ability to send 4K pics, 360-degree pics and video, etc. makes Messenger the best way to share, says Marcus.

    Messenger now has 300,000 active bots on the platform. More importantly, engagement is growing rapidly.

  • 23:45 (IST)

    Video on WhatsApp

    Facebook: "People make over 2 billion videos on WhatsApp. Now, group calling is coming within the next few months. Better yet, we're getting stickers!"


  • 23:38 (IST)

    Singing WhatsApp's praises

    "Privacy and security are really in our DNA at WhatsApp. We collect very little information on our users."

    Yeah, right.

  • 23:36 (IST)

    A new Explore tab on IG

    The new tab will show more, so you can discover more.

    Content classification and community is curation is coming. This should make for a more immersive experience.

    The comments filter gets an accompanying bullying filter. This will apparently make for a friendlier and safer Instagram experience.

  • 23:32 (IST)

    Slime enthusiasts find slime...oddly satisfying

    TIL. Thanks, Facebook.

  • 23:32 (IST)

    Conveying more emotion

    Picture in Picture is coming to Instagram. Video chat windows can now reside in a smaller window so you can "browse" and react to whatever else you're doing on Instagram, as a group.

  • 23:29 (IST)


    What's poor @jiffpom doing on stage?

  • 23:28 (IST)

    Sharing will be easier on Instagram

    Spotify sharing makes it easy to share directly to Instagram. Go Pro footage can also be shared directly.

    Camera Effects are coming to Instagram as a closed beta. Effects designed by participants will only show up for followers.

    Non-followers will also be able to use those Effects, but only if a friend used or posted something with those Effects.

  • 23:24 (IST)

    Safety check 2.0

    People will now be able to give first person accounts. Also, blood donations are coming to Facebook.

    You can register as a blood donor on Facebook and there will also be "hubs" where people and clinics can work together to help with this.

  • 23:22 (IST)


    The most important memory for a lot of people was that of meeting their loved one online.

    Facebook wants to build a platform that will make this much easier. Facebook believes that this will enable a safer environment for meeting people.

    The dating apps will suggests events and festivals that groups can attend. If you're using the dating service, you can "unlock" the group, allowing other potential dates attending that event to view your profile, and you to view theirs.

    Chatting on the dating app will be text-only, in the interest of safety. These chats will not be linked to Messenger.

  • 23:18 (IST)

    More info on groups

    The Groups tab will help people manage their groups better. It'll also make it easier to find groups.

    One of the more important updates to groups is that groups will be able to do things together.

    For this, we're getting Watch Party and Live Commentating.

  • 23:09 (IST)

    We NEED to keep building

    Zuckerberg: "Giving people a voice is important. Building relationships is important. Creating a community is important. Bringing the world closer together is important. It's important, and that's why we will keep building. We need to keep building. We need to keep people safe, but we need to keep building."

    Since Zuckerberg failed to mention it, we'd also like to add:

    Respecting people's privacy is important. Respecting people's privacy is important. Respecting people's privacy is important. Did we mention that respecting people's privacy was important?

  • 23:04 (IST)

    Oculus Go

    As mentioned earlier, the $199 Oculus Go VR headset is now available. All participants will get a free headset.

  • 23:02 (IST)

    Virtual Reality

    Zuckerberg: Our goal here is to create a real feeling of presence. Over the long term, VR and AR will take communication to the next level (duh).

    Facebook will take photos and map out "immersive spaces" using those photos. It can, for example, recreate your childhood home from images from your childhood *shudder*

    Last year, this would have been great news, but given the recent scandals, it just sounds creepy now.

  • 23:00 (IST)

    Messenger redesign

    Messenger is getting a design overhaul. AR Camera Effects are also coming to Messenger.

  • 22:59 (IST)

    Group videos for WhatsApp

    Group video chat is coming to WhatsApp

  • 22:58 (IST)

    WhatsApp updates

    Zuckerberg tries to take credit for bringing end-to-end encryption to WhatsApp, completely ignoring the fact that Jan left because he didn't like the way Facebook was attempting to undermine that very encryption.

  • 22:55 (IST)

    Instagram contd...

    AR Camera Effects are coming to Instagram.

  • 22:55 (IST)

    Instagram updates

    Explore is going to be more focused on the things you're going to be focused on.

    A lot of people are going to be on live video. We want to be as close to someone without actually being there.

    For that, we're starting video chat for Instagram. I think this is going to be a really big deal.

  • 22:53 (IST)

    Embracing Commerce

    Facebook will renew its focus on Marketplace, a tool for buying and selling goods.

  • 22:52 (IST)

    Building meaningful relationships

    i.e., Facebook is taking on Tinder. Zuckerberg has announced a new Dating app. It's built with "privacy" and "security" in mind. Your friends will not be able to see your profile if you don't want them to.

  • 22:51 (IST)

    Groups to be the core of Facebook

    There will be a new 'Groups' tab. This will make 'Groups' easier to access and offer people more control.

  • 22:50 (IST)

    Benefits to well-being

    Zuckerberg: People want Facebook to be about friends and interacting with people. That's what we'll focus on.

    We're rolling out Watch Party. You can watch things together, laugh together, cry together. It's a social tool for watching video.

    <insert tasteless joke about congressional hearings here>

  • 22:47 (IST)

    Clear History

    Just as a browser gives you an option to "Clear History", Facebook will give you a similar option. As Zuckerberg points out, this means that Facebook will have to relearn everything about you. *sounds of applause*

    There are two problems here:

    1. How do we trust that Facebook is actually deleting everything it has on you?

    2. Why is this a bad thing?

  • 22:45 (IST)

    On data breaches

    Zuckerberg: To all the developers here, I know that the vast majority of you are building great things. We need to take steps to ensure that everyone is working on great things.

  • 22:43 (IST)

    Fighting fake news

    Zuckerberg is discussing the measures that Facebook has implemented to fight fake news. It's nothing that we hasn't already been discussed. He mentions more moderators, AI tools, etc.

  • Hmm...

    Zuckerberg is in a particular emphatic mood. If he had a table to pound his fist on, he'd probably be doing that right now.

  • 22:40 (IST)

    Protecting the integrity of elections

    Zuckerberg: We were prepared for attacks, DDOS, etc., but not for election interference from state-sponsored actors

  • 22:38 (IST)

    Bringing people together

    Zuckerberg: I believe that we need to design technology to help bring people together.

    Part of the solution is that technology focuses on people. This isn't going to be easy, we will make mistakes.

  • 22:37 (IST)

    ...and we're LIVE

    Zuckerberg on stage:
    "When I was getting started in 2004, you go online and find anything. You could find anything, except the thing that matters the most: People. And that's why I started Facebook,"

  • 22:34 (IST)

    Technical difficulties at Facebook

    The F8 website and stream are down right now

  • 22:17 (IST)

    Privacy a priority

    As expected, Zuckerberg's focus this F8 is going to be on the privacy of Facebook's users. Given Facebook's history, it's up to you whether you choose to trust Facebook again.

  • 22:08 (IST)

    Oculus GO for all?

    The Oculus GO VR headset is up for pre-order already. Rumour has it that all F8 attendees will be given a free headset. Considering that the ticket alone costs over $600, getting a $199 headset for "free", and several hours of training, isn't such a bad deal.

    The GO is a purely wireless VR headset. You don't need a phone or a PC to stream VR content to it.

  • 21:59 (IST)

    30 minutes and counting
    Another 30 minutes before the stream goes live. The wait had better be worth it!

  • 21:48 (IST)

    Facebook F8 Livestream

    The F8 livestream will start at 10.30 pm IST. Those interested can sign up here to watch.

    Feel free to follow this live blog and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates from the event.

There might not be a heavy build up to the 2018 edition of Facebook's annual developer's conference but it still is a very important event for Facebook and its executives who will try and reassure developers that there still is a lot to be done at Facebook.

Facebook F8 Day 1 Highlights: Dating comes to facebook, Instagram gets AR stickers and video calling, Whatsapp gets group video chat

Facebook F8 2018. Image: Facebook

The event is expected to be more muted than the previous years, considering Facebook must have had to rework a lot of the expected announcements, including a smart speaker. It has also revoked a lot of third-party apps from accessing some data which was previously easy to use, in light of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, so they will have to glance over the core do's and don'ts of the platform again in their keynotes.

That said, Facebook still claims that this one is the biggest F8 ever, with more than 50 sessions available to a record crowd of 5,000 attendees. The event begins at 10:30 pm IST and you can go ahead and watch the live keynotes here or just follow the highlights right here as and when it happens.


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