Facebook's F8 developer conference came with some startling new changes.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, announced that Facebook’s F8 theme is “The future is private” which, following a year coloured with privacy controversy, isn’t exactly a surprise.

Facebook also announced updates to Instagram (including the Canadian test-run of removing likes), a redesign of both Facebook Messenger and your News Feed, and a cringe-worthy dating service called “Secret Crush”.

Instagram likes: Gone, but not forgotten.


If you’re Canadian, you might have noticed the like-counts on your feed disappearing. While it may be a life-crushing validation-void for some, for others this could provide a nice mental break from the pressure of social media. But, not to worry, for those who absolutely need to know where their competition is at, you can click on the ‘Liked by’ section and count em’ up manually.

For others in the business of social media, this could change the metrics of how you rate the success of a post. Now, you may have to pivot to an engagement-centred value system. Which, if we’re being honest, we find more telling anyway.

Facebook's 'Secret Crush' -- Tinder for kids?


Facebook’s new dating app ‘Secret Crush’ feels like school gossip on ‘who likes who’. You can add up to 5 people from your social network into your ‘Secret Crush’ category, Facebook will then notify those people that someone likes them, prompting them to try and ‘guess who’ by adding people into their own crush category. Once you and another person both add each other, Facebook matches you together, revealing your names.

“Now, kiss!” Facebook says as it pushes your profile pictures together like a Barbie and Ken doll romance.

The premise is, however, bound to increase engagement. Who doesn’t want to know who has a crush on them? It’s, at the very least, flattering. And, at the very worst, creepy. Now, for a platform that has gone through the wringer with privacy lawsuits, people may not think it’s a good idea to let Facebook know even more about their personal lives.

Facebook Messenger gets up close and personal.


Facebook Messenger is getting a refresh. You’ll be able to set a status and share photos amongst close friends. The app itself will be redesigned to take up 20% less space on iOS and desktop apps for Mac and PC users should be launching later this year.

Instagram updates its camera interface, appealing to influencers, creators, and online business owners.


Instagram’s camera redesign features ‘Create Mode’. The new mode lets users build a post without needing to upload a photo or video. The option of dedicated shopping tags will also become available. These tags let influencer, artist, or other creators tag a product in the photo giving viewers the option to buy that item without ever having to leave Instagram.

instagram create mode

Facebook's Virtual Reality headsets, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S, are ready for preorder.


For those not savvy in the world of VR, Oculus Rift and Rift S are Virtual Reality headsets created by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook. The two new headsets are set to ship at the end of May, they both cost about $400 US and, apparently, are pretty user-friendly.

FB5 will redesign your News Feed, highlighting groups and events.


Zuckerberg’s calling it “FB5”. The idea is to downplay the News Feed and highlight groups you’ve joined and events you might attend. There will be a prominent groups tab with a personalized feed from groups you’ve joined, instead of a relentless volley of baby photos from those high school folks you always forget to unfriend.