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At f8 conference, Zuckerberg promises safer FB, dating feature

Zuckerberg warned that the service won’t be quite as good if users take this step, as it has to relearn their history. But he added the goal is to put more power into its users’ hands to determine what they want to share.

Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook’s annual f8 developer conference, in which he acknowledged that 2018 has been an “intense year” just four months in.

Here are some of the big announcements made at the conference:

1) Oculus Go

Facebook is ready to launch a portable headset that it’s counting on to transform the geeky realm of virtual reality into a mass phenomenon. The USD 199 device, called the Oculus Go, went on sale Tuesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plan to make the headset six months ago.

Oculus Go is different from other virtual reality devices that require smartphones or a cord tethered to a personal computer to cast people into artificial worlds or show three-dimensional videos. The need for additional equipment is one of the reasons virtual reality, or VR, has had limited appeal so far. Zuckerberg is counting on the Oculus Go to widen the audience for VR, as Facebook tries to deploy the technology to reshape the way people interact and experience life, much as its social network already has done.

2) Facebook Dating feature

Facebook is launching a dating feature. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to laughs at Facebook’s f8 developer conference Tuesday that the new tool is “not just for hookups” but to build “meaningful, long-term relationships.” That is, if you want. The feature will be opt-in, meaning you have to choose to use it. Zuckerberg also stressed that the feature was built with privacy and security in mind from the start. The company has been under fire recently for possibly not doing this with some of its features over the years.

Zuckerberg also said the dating feature will not suggests users’ friends to date. This is already what other dating apps that rely on Facebook data do, such as Tinder. 

3) Re-opening app reviews

Speaking in San Jose, California, at Facebook’s f8 gathering of tech folks, startups and others, Zuckerberg said to cheers that the company is re-opening app reviews, the process that gets new and updated apps on its services. He also reiterated that Facebook is investing a lot in security and in strengthening its systems so they can’t be exploited to meddle with elections. But unlike other recent public appearances, he did not start off with an apology for the company’s recent privacy scandal.

Mark Zuckerberg has a fresh opportunity to apologize for Facebook’s privacy scandal – and to sketch out Facebook’s future. The Facebook CEO will kick off F8, the company’s annual conference for software developers.

Zuckerberg will speak Tuesday in San Jose, California, to assembled software developers and other tech folks. It’s normally a sympathetic audience. But they are likely to have some tough questions this year.

Zuckerberg might touch on Facebook’s year of privacy scandals, congressional testimony, Russia investigations and apologies. He will also have an opportunity to talk about where things go from here. Facebook is forging ahead with new promises to protect user privacy even if it means restricting access to developers. 

 

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