Facebook unveils 'Secret Crush' for dating plus other app features

Posted at 1:25 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 01:25:30-04

Facebook unveiled new features for its family of apps on Tuesday, including a new dating feature called "Secret Crush."

The announcements were made at F8 — the company's near-annual conference for announcing new products — at the San Jose Convention Center in California.

One of the buzzier announcements was for Secret Crush, a Tinder-like feature that will allow users to crush on a current Facebook friend and only be notified if the feeling is mutual. Facebook Dating launched last year in Colombia, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina and Canada, and will expand to 14 more countries on Tuesday. In the United States, it's planned to launch by the end of the year.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the two-day conference by saying the company was focusing on privacy and messaging as it expands further into processing payments and building commerce into its apps. The new features he announced seemed to take swipes at dating sites like Tinder, retail sites like Amazon and other messaging apps like Snapchat.

“The future is private,” Zuckerberg said, explaining that his companies would use "simple ways to share payments and location. Over time, I believe a private social platform will be even more important in our lives than our digital town squares."

“I get that a lot of people don’t think we’re serious about this,” he said, chuckling. "I know we don’t have the strongest reputation for privacy right now.”

Starting Tuesday, Facebook will look different, as the company said it was moving away from focusing on its "News Feed" feature towards "Groups." The mobile app will also be simpler and faster, the company said.

The new version of the social media mobile app will be simpler and faster. The social media app will launch new features, including a redesigned Groups tab with relevant recommendations and features. For example, job seekers will be able to apply directly through jobs posted in groups.

There's also a "Meet New Friends" feature for users.

In addition, the platform will launch new features in buy and sell groups to ship directly through the app and track shipping. Facebook did not specify exactly when the shipping function would be available.

Starting on May 9, shopping on Instagram will have even more instant gratification. Shoppers will be able to buy items direcly from creatives and influencers as opposed to Googling outfits or gear separarately outside the app.

The camera will also be redesigned. Using its "Create Mode,” the photo sharing platform will now allow posts without having to post a photo. Users can create posts with stickers and polls and other media.