SALT LAKE CITY — Facebook announced new updates to their social media apps and upcoming Oculus VR headsets at their F8 developer’s conference in San Jose, California on April 30.
New messenger: VentureBeat reports that the social media company announced Project LightSpeed, a rebuilt version of the current Facebook Messenger app that will launch faster and has a smaller digital footprint. A Messenger desktop app for Mac and PC will also be available later this year.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also announced a push towards helping Messenger users easily find content from friends and family. Other features will also allow users to watch videos with other users as well as automatic appointment booking for companies.
Create mode: The Verge also reported that a new Create mode for Instagram will allow for content like quizzes. Shopping features will also give businesses and creators to sell products within the app.
Gaming: A Facebook blog post also revealed new gaming features on Facebook’s Instant Games platform. These include integrating Instant Games into the Facebook app and allowing users to more easily invite friends to play games. The Instant Games tab will also become more visible depending on how much it’s used, which should allow people to curate their navigation experience on Facebook.
VR: Facebook also announced a release date for the upcoming Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest VR headsets, according to Variety. Both headsets will launch on May 21 and are available for preorder for $399.Comment on this story
The Oculus Rift S is a streamlined version of the older Rift headset with an LED screen and lower refresh rate. The Quest is a wireless headset that can run independent of a computer at a higher resolution. Both headsets also feature internal cameras that can map the environment around the wearer instead of using sensors placed around the room.
A full list of 53 games for Oculus Quest was also announced. Some highlights include “Angry Birds VR,” “Beat Saber,” “Creed: Rise to Glory,” “Job Simulator,” and “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series” from ILMxLAB.