While a large portion of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at F8 2018 was dedicated to privacy and tools to improve data security, he also stressed on the importance of creating new products that not only increase engagement but bring people closer.
Zuckerberg tempered the relatively dour privacy-related sections of his keynote with some news about fun features coming to Facebook and other apps and services owned by the company. While Facebook dating may not be for everyone, the company has brought new and interactive features for WhatsApp, among other apps.
Facebook F8 Announcements for WhatsApp
Zuckerberg he took a moment to mention WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, who announced his departure yesterday amid concerns over encryption and privacy. But he quickly moved on to the new additions to the app and service.
Group Video Calling
The biggest addition – and a highly-anticipated one – to WhatsApp is group video chat. When it launches, you will be able to call more than one contact over video simultaneously. This is likely to make some of those Good Morning messages infinitely more intolerable.
Third-Party Integration for Stories
Zuckerberg proudly admitted that Stories were performing much better on WhatsApp than in Instagram, Messenger, or Facebook. Now, to push Stories engagement a notch further, the company announced a partnership with various third-party services.
First off, users will now be able to share the currently playing track from Spotify, Saavn, and similar streaming apps to their Stories. This will automatically embed a deep link into the Stories, and contacts can directly open up the song on their phones. This is a huge addition and improvement to the current Stories feature.
Similarly you will also be able to share clips from GoPro cameras directly as Stories.
Stickers for WhatsApp
Additionally, WhatsApp will now get stickers similar to Line and WeChat. We knew this was already in the works and Facebook said it will invite developers to create stickers for WhatsApp which is likely to bring more variety to the table, as well as seasonal and event-related stickers. Don’t worry, emojis aren’t going anywhere.
WhatsApp Business Expansion
Zuckerberg also announced that WhatsApp for Business will now be expanded from select users, businesses and regions to bigger businesses and world-renowned brands. The collaboration is already in the testing phase. At the same time, Facebook is also evaluating use-cases for features such as Google-like smart replies.
So which of these changes are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments and keep reading our Facebook F8 2018 coverage.