What Facebook has in store for us for 2016

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Within the first week of 2016, Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products David Marcus, has posted an article onto Facebook’s newsroom, explaining what Facebook has achieved in 2015 and what Facebook’s plans are for 2016. According to David, “2015 was a year when we made significant improvements to how we enable people to communicate”.

Let’s quickly have a look at what Facebook has achieved in 2015: More personalised conversations with more emojis, nicknames and colours, allowed users to send and receive money to and from friends from within conversations, video calling, launched the Virtual Assistant M and closed with the year with the transportation platform with Uber and more features non-messaging specific such as the yearly memory reminders as well as the allowance for users to set a person that will be able to handle their Facebook accounts in case they die.

What should we expect in 2016? David Marcus has also informed us about a few themes that Facebook Messenger aims to work on for this year. “Threads are the new apps” is one of them, as Facebook is continuously trying to increase a business’ or service’s sales, such as booking flight tickets and order rides. In light of this a shopping tab currently under testing that will allow companies and products to sell more and users to buy more!

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There are a few features though that are not Facebook Messenger specific, and will be developed in the short or long term but Facebook has already announced that they will be developed. These are explained below. We know them and we expect them and so should you!

Apparently, Facebook is testing a new in-app browser so that you never want to leave the app again. Of course Facebook has had the in-app browser for a while and I am sure everyone has already clicked several links that presented the respective website within the app. The new browser that Facebook is testing will also allow the users to change their search URLs, so that they will never go to any other Internet browsing app. Along with the ability to search, Facebook will also allow its users to bookmark pages as well as go backwards and forwards.

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Additionally, virtual reality is something that Facebook has been looking into for a while now. What Marcus Schroepfer mentioned at his speech at the Web Summit of 2015 is: "Facebook wants to build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries.". Considering this, and along with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of March 2014 that Facebook has acquired Oculus Virtual Reality (VR) technology, it means that within the next decade we should expect much more from Facebook and VR.

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Now let’s have a look at one problem that some of you may have! Are you regularly watching sports games without the presence of your team’s or opponent’s fans? As of the 20th January 2016, the Facebook Sports Stadium has launched. It will not only become a place for all the fans to meet and exchange ideas in regards to a game, but ALL the content related to the game will be found in one place, whether that involves posts of your friends or commentary experts like teams, journalists etc.. Information on which channel shows the game, and live scores!! As Facebook mentions, “The experience is available now on iPhone in the US, and will expand to other platforms in the coming weeks.” So... let’s wait for it world!

The latest announcement of Facebook is the expansion of Live Videos Worldwide. Facebook has tested the Live Videos in the United States and will be rolling the feature worldwide within the next coming weeks for iOS devices and later on for Android as Facebook is currently working on that! What does this feature have to offer? It allows users to share live videos to anyone they choose to. When the broadcast is finished, it will be saved on your timeline just like any other imported or captured video!

And as for the recent announcements of Facebook, it is indeed getting a Material Design very soon. Finally, as Facebook wants to become a recommendation machine for everyone, it will aim at suggesting you places to eat or drink when you are at a specific place, or if you choose that you want a specific cuisine to eat for dinner such as Chinese. With that being said, you will be able soon enough to get personalised recommendations from your friends.

That’s all we know about Facebook’s plans and as they promised, they will be unveiling their plans and new features throughout the year!

Sources:
http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/heres-to-2016-with-messenger/ 
http://edm.com/articles/2015-11-08/facebook-virtual-reality-teleporation 
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-is-testing-a-new-browser-that-will-make-sure-you-never-leave-the-app-a6817766.html 
http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/expanding-live-video/

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