Facebook has been steadily adding new features to keep itself relevant in this ever-changing world of technology. In a recent Facebook Live video, CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a glimpse at some interesting features that are being developed by the company for its various platforms. These features were built by the company’s engineers during a recent Hackathon, and range from GIF support for comments to Messenger features like location sharing and even offline chatting. Also Read - Facebook gives voice to emojis with Soundmoji: Here's how to sendAlso Read - Netflix could launch its video game streaming service next year, at no extra cost
Along with CTO Mike Schroepfer, and CPO Chris Cox, Zuckerberg showed off some of the early versions, while saying, “The Hackathon prototypes that are good break down into a few categories. There are what I call little features, like adding GIFs to comments. That probably will be ready to ship sometime soon. Then there are things that are more showing off what an idea might be. It shows this is a cool thing and then we have a team work on it for a month or maybe a year until it’s ready to go.” Also Read - You can now use WhatsApp web without your phone
Starting with GIFs for comments, which is pretty much self explanatory. It basically integrates a GIF search engine into comments, allowing user to pick from the database and use them instead of typing out a reply. Using GIFs while chatting has become a sort of trend, and it is being largely used on apps like Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp. ALSO READ: Facebook working on Collections , a Snapchat Discover-like feature
Facebook is also set to introduce a bit of assistance from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create shared albums. The AI basically compiles photo and video galleries by pulling content tied to a specific event from the comments section of a post. “They’re talking about using some basic AI techniques to read what a person posted to understand if they’re asking for friends to create a photo album or post videos,” Zuckerberg said. “You don’t necessarily have to add a keyword or press a button. It just understands what you’re entering and does the right thing.”
Facebook’s Messenger too is set to get a couple of interesting features, including one that is squarely aimed at countries like India. One of the features lets users share their current location via the app in cases of emergency. It can either be enabled for one or more of your contacts on the messaging app, and once a request is made, the app will automatically send your current location to them. You can also choose to disable the automatic reply feature, albeit within a set time limit.
Another feature is basically restricted to the Messenger Lite version, and will be useful in countries like India. This feature lets users chat with each other without the need for an internet connection. Instead it uses Wi-Fi Direct feature to let users chat when they are nearby. “Even if you’re in an area where you don’t have access to the internet at all or you don’t want to pay for data…these phones can message from one to the other directly not going through the Internet and not going through Facebook,” Zuckerberg explained. “They’re just talking directly to each other.” He also said that this feature is likely to be introduced in the coming months. ALSO READ: Facebook Messenger launches 17 Instant Games for Android and iOS