Facebook Gaining Watch Party, Overhauled Groups, and New Dating Feature

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this morning hosted a keynote event for the F8 developers conference, where he unveiled several new features that are coming to the social network.

Watch Party is a new Facebook feature that will allow you to watch videos while also chatting with your friends. When introducing the feature, Zuckerberg joked about his recent congressional testimony. "Let's say your friend is testifying in Congress," he said. "Now you can watch and laugh together, cry together."


Facebook plans to overhaul the Groups feature, which Zuckerberg says is one of the most meaning parts of Facebook. There will be a new groups tab to make groups more central to the overall Facebook experience. A new join group button and plugin will be available to developers and website administrators to make it easier for Facebook users to create and join groups.

The other major feature that's coming to Facebook is a dating feature, which Zuckerberg says is designed to help people build meaningful relationships. "This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups," said Zuckerberg.

The dating feature will be within Facebook, and it will be opt-in, allowing people to make a dating profile if desired. Facebook says the feature has been built with "Privacy and Safety in mind." Your friends will not see your profile, friends won't come up as dating options, and you'll only see suggestions of people who fit your preferences

For WhatsApp, Facebook's popular encrypted messaging app, Facebook will add Group Video calling features and it will expand WhatsApp businesses to allow larger companies to access WhatsApp for interacting with customers.

For Messenger, Facebook is redesigning the app's interface with a focus on making it clean, fast, and simple. Messenger will also gain the AR Camera Effects platform for using augmented reality effects when connected to friends and family.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
32 months ago

I’d love to know who at Facebook thought adding a dating service to the app was a good idea.

It's a perfect fit for Facebook's mission--leave no lucrative data unexploited.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I’d love to know who at Facebook thought adding a dating service to the app was a good idea.

Seems to me Apple would be the perfect candidate to build a simple Facebook competitor that doesn’t contain all the bloat. Of course something like this would need to be cross-platform/web. I can’t see Apple taking iMessage cross-platform because it would kill off the #1 reason to own a iPhone.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I hate the way Facebook does things. It's such a mountain of bloat. Why do things simply and well when you can do it wildly inconsistently, change the rules a year later, torture 3rd party developers, and trot out Zuck for his latest mea culpa (not mea culpa)?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
It's puzzling to me why the dating feature would be walled off so tightly from friends. I think it's a perfect picture of our flawed collective mindset on "special" relationships: that dating someone and being a friend to that someone are incompatible experiences and different spaces.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

Seems to me Apple would be the perfect candidate to build a simple Facebook competitor that doesn’t contain all the bloat.

Apple would be terrible at that, see Ping, social features of Apple Music (including Connect which is completely useless and will be abandoned eventually) etc. Doesn't seem like Apple really understands that space. Not that I think they should get into it any further. I'm kind of glad they fail at it. Let others do the 'dirty work'. Oh, and Facebook can go to hell, as far as I'm concerned.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

It's puzzling to me why the dating feature would be walled off so tightly from friends. I think it's a perfect picture of our flawed collective mindset on "special" relationships: that dating someone and being a friend to that someone are incompatible experiences and different spaces.

I was thinking the same thing.

If you're already friends but both match, then there's potential.

Of course there's the whole friend zone thing, but it could still be an avenue to try if the 2 of you match.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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