At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, Tuesday, the company took pains to present itself as a privacy-friendly company that prioritizes its users’ safety following a scandal-ridden year.
Yet while it touted encryption, secure data storage, and private interaction, Facebook continues to press forward with more ways for users to engage with the platform, leaving plenty of data behind.
Facebook introduced a new feature that will help people date their friends, which some onlookers immediately pointed out seems destined to end poorly. And it said its larger dating product would roll out in the US at the end of the year. Facebook is also adding new features to Messenger that would allow users to watch video with multiple people as it tries to be more competitive in video chat. And it announced new shopping features like shipping and payment for Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and WhatsApp as it eyes e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay.
Regarding privacy and safety, Facebook said it would make groups a more prominent part of its product, creating more space for sharing and interacting with smaller communities. It said it’s testing removing the like counts from posts in Instagram’s feed in an attempt to make people feel less bad about themselves as they scroll through. And it said Messenger will go end-to-end encrypted.
As they introduced new features, Facebook’s product executives said the word “privacy” over and over. But with its dating and shopping features, the company opened up potential new avenues to learn about who we are.