Facebook completely redesigned its main app for both mobile and desktop to promote group based communication. At the two-day annual F8 Conference of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the series of changes to promote private conversations and shifting people away from public broadcasting.
"I know we don't exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly," said Zuckerberg, acknowledging scepticism around the company. "I am committed to doing this well."
To mark the beginning of the new privacy focussed era, Zuckerberg unveiled a redesigned Facebook app. There will now be a Group tab at the centre and the content from Groups will appear more often in News Feed, and Facebook will give users more cues to discover and join new Groups. Features for the specific type of Groups will also come, for example an option for employers to post job openings in job groups etc.
"Basically, now you're going to be able to see and connect with your friends everywhere and you're also going to be able to see and connect with groups that you care about," Zuckerberg said. "It all adds up to this feeling that groups are now at the heart of the experience, just as much as your friends and family are."
The new changes will allow users to message and share the news with other members of the private group easily. There will also be a "Meet New Friends" feature that will help people start new friendships.
Facebook's redesigned app can be downloaded as an update for mobile devices. The desktop redesign will take some time and will be available "in the next few months."
Separately, Facebook announced that its Messenger platform will be end-to-end encrypted. It will also introduce a new desktop app for both Mac and Windows. Facebook also spoke about the Secret Crush feature that will introduce a pair of users when both have indicated an interest in each other.
Mark Zuckerberg also spoke about six principals that his company will focus on in the future including private interactions, encryption, reduced permanence (disappearing messages), safety, interoperability (easy and safe communication between different platforms), and secure data storage.
"Over the next few years we are going to build more of our services around these ideas," said Zuckerberg. "This isn't just about building features - we need to change a lot of the different ways that we run this company today."
Edited By: Udit Verma