The ability to delete information and a new date tool are among changes unveiled at Facebook's annual developer's conference in California this week.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took on a more somber and forceful tone than in previous years, as he tried to bolster Facebook's commitment to privacy and community.

He said users should be able to delete the browsing history Facebook collects, much in the way that Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome allow people to clear their tracking cookies.

Zuckerberg's appearance at the annual F8 conference, caps a month during which he has tried to rebuild public trust in Facebook after a data privacy scandal. In March, Facebook revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political marketing firm used by the Trump campaign, had improperly obtained the personal information of 87 million users. That prompted an outcry that Facebook was mishandling people's data.

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Google and Apple allow users to permanently delete their browsing and search histories from its servers. Like Facebook, though, Google says its services will perform worse without the data it uses to, for instance, help users auto-complete their searches.

In announcing the dating app, Zuckerberg said Facebook should be in the business of bringing people together in new ways. He told a story of being stopped on the street by married couples who had met through Facebook, and said he wanted to make a more deliberate effort to bring couples together.

So many people are single, Zuckerberg said, "so clearly there's something to do here!"

The announcement sent the stock of Match Group, which owns Tinder, OkCupid and Match.com, down 18 per cent.

Zuckerberg also announced a new virtual-reality headset, called Oculus Go. In an Oprah-style moment, he said all conference attendees would get a free $200 headset.

Zuckerberg also thanked Jan Koum, the co-founder of the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, who announced his resignation on Monday after the Washington Post revealed he was leaving the company after clashing with management over privacy, encryption and strategy.

"We built the largest fully encrypted communication network in the world," Zuckerberg said. "It wouldn't have happened without him."