New Facebook Features: Integrity over Control?

Mark Zuckerberg once said that Facebook was not originally created to be a company, but that it was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected. Achieving social integrity is a task that requires constant work and progress. This is the reason why Facebook users encounter certain changes from time to time. The latest Facebook changes that affected people worldwide focused on visual designs and communication between its users. Some of them are explained in the following text.

1. Admin Privileges for Group Conversations in Messenger

Since 2.5 million new groups were created on Messenger every day last year, Facebook decided to launch Messenger features that will enhance your group chat experience.

With Admin privileges, you can now:

  • approve new members before they join your group chat,
  • remove members if needed,
  • promote or demote any other person in the group chat as an admin,
  • decide if you’d like admin approval for approving new members (this preference is off by default in your group chat settings) and
  • add new people to group chats with joinable links.

Admin Privileges for Group Conversations

Related to joinable links, anyone in a group chat can create a custom invite link and share it with someone they’d like to join the conversation. People who tap the link will either be added to the group automatically (if approvals are off), or will be added once the admin has approved the request.

2. New Options for Facebook Stories

Comparing Instagram and Facebook Story section, it is visible that more stories are uploaded on Instagram on daily basis. In other words, Facebook is lagging behind. Taking that into consideration, Facebook team has quietly added a couple of new options for its story section.

Not only can you add location to your story now, but also tag a friend by using the Name sticker, as shown below.

Facebook Story

According to The Next Web’s Matt Navarra, Facebook is also looking to add Instagram Stories-like polls for Facebook Stories soon, which will be another functional update to consider.

3. Visuals in Messenger

About 1.2 billion people use Messenger monthly, but smaller number of them uses it for sending photographs to each other due to the fact that Messenger lowers the resolution of sent photos.

Taking that into consideration, Facebook team started working on visuals and some of the results were visible to users at the beginning of this month. Changes like the ability to send 360 degree photos, panoramic photos and high degree videos straight from the camera roll were introduced. According to Facebook newsroom, both 360 degree photos and HD videos are easy to identify in Messenger.

Facebook Visuals

In order to try out these new features, don’t forget to update your Messenger app to make sure you have the latest version. 360 degree photos in Messenger are available all over the world on both iOS and Android, but HD quality videos are available only in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and the US on iOS and Android for now.

4. New Video Formats

The latest change made by the Facebook team is the new video option which aims to boost engagement by enabling creators and publishers to post pre-recorded videos within the Facebook Live environment.

This does not mean that publishers will be able to re-broadcast old content through Facebook Live in order to get a reach boost. Slightly different, this new process will give approved publishers the opportunity to broadcast pre-recorded content through what’s essentially Facebook Live, though the videos would clearly be tagged as ‘Premiere’ and not ‘Live’.

Facebook Premiere

According to Social Media Today, Facebook has also been testing out ‘Watch Party’, which enables Facebook group admins to share public video clips with their members, and for those viewers to then comment and discuss the content in real-time – again, similar to a Facebook Live video.

Facebook Watch Party

All of the listed changes are designed to raise the level of interaction between Facebook users. Admin privileges allow you to communicate with the chosen group of people. For instance, you can use this option to easily plan a surprise birthday party for you friend. New video format (also known as the „Premiere“) is created to provide another way to interact around video content, expanding the communal viewing experience of live to more formats. Looks like Zuckerberg is slowly (but surely) completing Facebook’s function of social integration.

Andrea Dominikovic

Author Andrea Dominikovic

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