An attendee takes a photograph of a sign during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose

DURBAN - On the first day of the Facebook annual conference, F8,  the Mark Zuckerberg company announced new features for Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp according to the Facebook News Blog.

During his keynote at the conference Zuckerberg said that they are building a more privacy-focused social platform, giving a people spaces where they can express themselves freely and feel connected to the people and communities that matter most.

Here are the new features for the various social media platforms that were announced at the conference:

Facebook

Facebook is rolling out FB5, a new design for Facebook that is more simple, faster and immersive. Facebook said that that new design will make it easier for users to find what they are looking for and get to their most used features. 

The redesign will also make it easier for people to go from more public spaces to private spaces like Groups. The new tools will make it simple for users to engage groups that they are interested in. 

On Facebook Dating, users can choose to discover potential matches within their own Facebook communities like events, groups, friends of friends and more. The feature is currently available in countries like Colombia, Thailand and Canada. They are also expanding the feature to 14 other countries. 

A new feature called Secret Crush allows users to select upto nine Facebook friends that they want to express interest in. If a Secret Crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If the users crush adds the user to their Secret Crush list, it’s a match.

Facebook has created Meet New Friends to help people start friendships with new people from their shared communities. Meet New Friends is an opt in feature. 

On Facebook Marketplace, people will soon be able to shop for Marketplace items anywhere in the US and pay for their purchases directly on Facebook. 

The Facebook Events tab will be allow users to get recommendations, discover local businesses and co-ordinate with friends to make plans to get together. 

Messenger

Facebook is rebuilding the architecture of the app to make it faster and lighter than before. The upgraded app will roll out later this year. 

Messenger will now be available for users to use on their Desktop. The app can be downloaded on the desktop and available on both Windows and MacOS. Facebook is testing this feature and it will roll out globally later this year. 

Messenger is making it easier for businesses to connect with potential customers by adding lead generation templates to Ads Manager. Businesses can create an ad that will drive people to a simple Q&A in Messenger to learn more about their customers. 

WhatsApp

In the forthcoming months people will be able to see a catalog right within WhatsApp when chatting a business. With catalogs, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE