Facebook has been a great communication channel, a perfect media newsroom, an ideal publishing platform and an amazing place for connecting with friends.
But now it is great for so much more.
Within the last few weeks Facebook introduced some interesting features and innovative services that will change the way you experience social networking.
If you were at the Facebook Developer Conference, you might already be familiar with the changes they introduced. But if you have not heard anything at all, here are the details of 5 recent updates that will change your Facebook experience.
1. Facebook will build a better news feed for you
Browse through your Facebook News Feed and you'll see the posts from your family and friends over other media posts. You don't have to scroll through the news feeds to make sure you're not missing the important stuff from your friends.
Your Facebook news feed would now be subjective, personal, and unique. It will keep you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to. The new system would learn from you and adapt to offer you an optimum social networking experience.
For example, if you tend to like the photos/status updates from your brother, you will start seeing his posts closer to the top of your feed so that you do not miss what he had posted while you were away.
And if you value the stories that are informative and interesting like a post about current political events, about new discoveries in science, or lifestyle of your favorite celebrity, or a recipe. Facebook would understand what is interesting and informative to you, so that related stories appear higher up in your news feed.
2. Facebook introduced an amazing translation tool
This new "multilingual composer" tool has sole purpose of letting users enjoy social networking without any language barrier.
No matter which part of the world you have friends from; this tool would let you speak to them in their native languages. This means that the post you write in English can be translated into French for your French friends, and German for your colleagues from Germany.
This functionality currently works for 45 most common languages spoken across the world. The quality of translations may also not be perfect yet. But it is getting better with more and more people using this tool. This is because the system tends to gather data as users communicate in their native languages. So, the more people use this functionality, the better the translations will be.
To use this new feature while sharing new posts, simply select the Facebook's language settings and click the 'Post in multiple languages' option. You will have the choice to select the additional languages you want it to be translated to.
Facebook's multilingual composer tool will then feature your posts on your friends news feed in different version, depending on their language settings.
3. Over 11,000 bots on Facebook Messenger
When you are not checking your Facebook feeds or chatting with your friends, Facebook's chatbots will offer you 1000s of options to stay busy and entertained.
A bot appears in the app just like a friend. You can chat with these scripts by simply sending them a message, as if they were a human user.
These are not only meant to do question and response, but different bots would help you in unique ways to do many different things online - Like, shopping flowers, roulette strategy, booking airline tickets, reading about finding weather reports and lots more.
These Facebook bots were first introduced 3 months back in April. And the first few bots launched included 1-800-Flowers that lets you order flowers online simply by sending a message; CNN, that could send you a "daily digest" of news that match your interests; and Poncho "the weather cat" that sends you the weather forecast with funny GIFs or could tell you the weather in a chat log.
With over 11,000 bots live now, Facebook messenger is driving better user engagement and experience. Probably when users are not chatting with each other they are talking to this Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.
4. Facebook Messenger platform 1.1
Messenger as you would know is a separate service app from Facebook that allows you to have private conversations with your friends.
The recent upgraded version of this Facebook's Messenger would let you share video, audio, GIFs and files in a chat log apart from simple text messaging offered earlier. It also comes packed with 10 dynamic buttons for quick user replies.
For example: When you are interacting with a bot of your choice, QUICK REPLIES will show you a series of up to 10 buttons - Each labeled with a template message. So, you can simply click an option instead of typing in the complete message yourself.
Another feature added to the messenger lets you rate the bots you tried "using the bots star ratings" and by providing feedback to the developers. But unlike Google Play Store, your ratings and feedback are shared only with the developers.
Apart from these, Messenger 1.1 is also giving you advanced control on your bots. Like, you can now mute a bot from sending you any messages (updates) ensuring that you are not getting frustrated or overwhelmed with the information it shares.
5. Facebook is improving cellular connectivity in remote areas of the world
If you are a regular visitor to areas with low mobile connectivity, here's good news for you.
Facebook has created an open-source cellular system called "OpenCellular" that will make it easier to start your own mobile network anywhere around the world.
The system design is kept modular and inexpensive - making is highly easy to deploy. The base framework is customizable with a wireless access point and is potential of connecting devices using 2G, LTE or even Wi-Fi. Precisely, this new technology will reduce the number of people who do not have access to the internet.
Unlike traditional cellular infrastructure that included the cost of "land, tower, security, power, and backhaul", the modular architecture and design of OpenCellular is aimed at driving down the price of communications infrastructure. It would be more cost-effective for operators to deploy network in places where connectivity is scarce.
Facebook openly invites anyone interested in learning more about OpenCellular and applying this technology in their areas. This can potentially be a huge opportunity to improve global connectivity.
One of the best things about Facebook is that there's always something new to try - features, services, apps, tools, games, ideas, technology and more.
It is likely we will continue to see more upgrades and products soon, as promised by Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder Facebook in the two day annual "Facebook Developers Conference" held in San Francisco few weeks ago. He talked about new integrations, technologies and the latest immersive experiences to be added to the platform in the year to come.
Now, you are not only getting an improved way of connecting with your friends but also great features of apps you would use every day. The more you get on this highly addictive social site, the more you will wonder how you ever lived without it.