Notice a different-looking Facebook when you logged onto the social platform? That’s because Facebook has gotten a makeover, which was debuted by founder Mark Zuckerberg at its annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, on April 30.
Most ostensibly, Facebook has a new look (the iconic blue banner has given way to white) and is making a bigger emphasis on privacy, something Zuckerberg acknowledged the company hasn’t always gotten right in the past.
“I know we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly,” he said. “I am committed to doing this well.”
Below is a summary of the most interesting changes that affect users as the company attempts to embark on a new era.
Facebook privacy changes
By far, the biggest change is Facebook’s pivot to become a more privacy-centric company. Zuckerberg highlighted six principles that would inform future company initiatives and products, including private interactions, encryption, reduced permanence, safety, interoperability and secure data storage.
Some of these initiatives are already evident in Facebook’s product line, such as the encryption feature in WhatsApp; while others, like reduced permanence is simply “developer-speak” for an answer to competitor Snapchat’s trademark disappearing messages feature that remain popular with younger social media users.
It’s clear, however, that the connection between all of the principles is a focus on addressing the ongoing concerns by users, the media and lawmakers about the company’s ability to take data privacy concerns seriously.
Facebook groups and messaging
Another strategy for improving Facebook’s reputation as a platform for peer-to-peer connections is an increased focus on fostering smaller groups of intimate connections. To this end, Facebook is investing in making groups a more prominent part of the platform, while also improving the experience of Messenger that fosters communication between you and your group of friends. One such new innovation will be the ability to watch videos together with a friend within Messenger.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature to be announced is “secret crush,” which has all the hallmarks of an online dating platform—but with your Facebook network. So how does it work? Users will be able to create a separate list of friends that they would potentially like to date. If two users both have one another on their secret crush lists, they will be notified, much like when there’s a corresponding match between two Tinder users.
The secret crush feature is just one move as part of a larger online dating rollout for the platform. Facebook Dating is set to roll-out to as many as 14 countries, including the U.S. this year.