Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 summit in San Francisco. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 summit in San Francisco. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 summit in San Francisco. (Photo: Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook conference reveals new features

Annual event showcases new apps, including one that aims to revolutionize the private message.

More than a billion people log into Facebook on a regular basis. So when the company announces changes to their social media platform, ears perk up across the globe.

Facebook is in the midst of hosting their annual developers conference in San Francisco where they are revealing new changes to the service. The biggest shift will take place within Facebook's Messenger, the section which allows for private communication between users. Facebook announced they are opening up the Messenger ecosystem to third-party developers. Think of it like the app store on your smartphone, but these new programs will enhance what Messenger can already do.

For example, one new app will allow you to record goofy voices to send to your friends, while another will allow you to send doodles via Facebook.

One app that's drawing lots of attention is Magisto Shot, which allows people with no design skills to easily produce a video story with music, video and professional style effects using their own photos. The company already claims 55 million registered users for its smartphone app and is hoping that its new app dedicated to Facebook users will be just as successful.

"Messaging has been continually evolving from its plain text beginnings to more expressive forms of communicating using photos and emoticons," Oren Boiman, co-founder and CEO of Israel-based Magisto, said. "However, these enhancements don't always succeed in conveying the true depth and richness of human emotion. Emoticons somewhat improve plain text, but adding a smiley is like a drum roll that tells you to laugh at a joke's punchline. Magisto Shot makes messaging much more powerful than it is today by using video to make your message genuinely funny, or happy or sad so you can truly show how you feel."

David Smith, who teaches visual journalism at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, is excited about Magisto Shot. "It does seem like a cool app," he said. "We're all visual storytellers now. It's often difficult to find a simple way to stand out and get your message across, particularly on crowded social networks. I think one of the frustrations many people have with text-based social media platforms is the difficulty of communicating certain things without visual cues – mood, tone, inflection. Combining photos and text in a slickly produced video allows you to tell a more complete story."


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Related Topics: Apps, Facebook