Facebook Will Let You Talk To Friends Across Messenger, Instagram, And WhatsApp

Believe your lying eyes

Image Amy Osborne AFP getty

If Facebook thinks that its funky new dating feature and its white-washed interface is going to free it from blame for destroying society, man, Zuckerberg has another thing coming.

Facebook unveiled a redesigned mobile app and website at its annual F8 conference for developers, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a keynote presentation that "the future is private" to address concerns about the company's data-sharing practices. We don't exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly.

"We believe people should be able to talk to anyone anywhere", she said.

Those using Marketplace to sell items will be happy to hear that they will soon be able to ship their wares anywhere in the continental USA and get paid on Facebook using a secure platform.

But the company's main namesake social network is getting a redesign that could end up being less about throwing autoplaying videos at your feed and more about creating communities, with a nod to privacy.

Unless you've been living under a rock (or distracted by Instagram), the last few years have been riddled with controversy for the world's most iconic start-up.

The social network announced a number of updates across its platforms - Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp - at its F8 event. "We need to change a lot of ways we run this company". Since then we haven't seen many updates in the feature until now.

A desktop app for Messenger is also coming later this year.

Facebook last month revealed it had set aside $3 billion to pay a possible FTC fine, but it warned the penalty could as high as $5bn for privacy breaches.

Facebook shares finished the day down 0.7 percent, at $193.40.

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The Facebook groups tab has also undergone an overhaul, giving users an organised glance at their current groups, alongside more personalised suggestions for new ones. It is also bringing WhatsApp to Portal, with the promise of end-to-end encryption to all calls.

The extent to which Facebook will facilitate brand "insertion" into its new community pushes is now unclear.

To make the experience more private, Facebook is putting more stress on Groups.

Facebook will add new features for certain groups.

In this new, sinless version of the social media platform that is widely known for slowly eroding democracy, Facebook Stories - one of its Snapchat copycats - will appear up top on the home screen of both mobile and desktop, followed by the status bar and the news feed.

"I'm sure we're going to keep unearthing old issues for a while, so it may feel like we're not making progress at first", said Zuckerberg. The desktop application should be available "later this year" but no date is offered yet.

Facebook Messenger is being rebuilt from the ground up to be faster and lighter than ever before.

The new features are part of its plan to move toward e-commerce and payments.

A new feature called "Secret Crush" will let people signal which friends they are interested in romantically, but only letting the object of their fancy know it if that person makes similar interest known on a private crush list.

Facebook has also built a Meet New Friends feature to facilitate the offline interaction of users, as well as new Marketplace shipping functionality to help facilitate delivery of items.

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