Yesterday was a massive day for Facebook as they addressed a lot of issues related to privacy and their general philosophy going forward at the F8 2019 developers conference. However, out of everything announced at the conference, the biggest head turner was the Facebook app and website redesign. This is the 5th major redesign in the company’s history and thus, fittingly, is called ‘FB5’. The main purpose of this change, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is to put the core focus into socializing and communities. This means that groups will now be at the forefront of the app with more group suggestions and posts showing up on your news feed etc. The dedicated group tab is also undergoing a redesign.
Other than the groups, the overall design language of the application is being changed as well. The change is going to be so drastic that even the Facebook logo has been changed on top of the app. “The app isn’t even blue anymore”, said Mark Zuckerberg emphasizing on the total change in direction that they are taking. We all know how bad the current Facebook app is. It hogs all your resources and battery and is plagued with a million glitches. For example, every time I open up the Facebook app, around 5 to 6 status tabs open up by themselves and I have to click them away. Another thing it does is doubling comments on posts. Hopefully, the redesign will take care of these annoying bugs and glitches.
A Faster Facebook
According to Mark Zuckerberg, the app redesign is not limited to being a visual or aesthetic one. The app has been overhauled from the ground up and should be much more optimized, eating up fewer resources. This has been one of the worst things about the older Facebook app and to see them working to improve in this department is encouraging. The low resource optimization is not only limited to the iOS and Android app though, as the website is going to get these changes as well. So, if you hated using Facebook on your browser just because of how sluggish it felt, this might solve that for you.
Reactions to the redesign
The redesigned FB5 update is already rolling out to both iOS and Android devices around the world and people do not seem to be very fond of it. One of the biggest gripes people are having currently is that the reaction emojis have been changed as a part of the change in design language. They look a lot more cartoon-y now and the internet is furious.
However, that’s just what people do whenever anything changes. Remember when Facebook brought reactions and how everyone hated those? Yeah, everyone loves them now and that’s just the internet in a nutshell. We have got some pretty funny memes out of the whole situation though.
Other than the reactions, the whole app is just more white now as well with a massive Facebook logo at the top. The camera icon at the top for story has also been removed and the only way to access that is to swipe to the right now. The logo takes the place of the search bar which is now just a small icon on top next to the Messenger icon. The new app looks a lot like the Messenger with softer edges and feel all throughout the app.
A lot of people are not liking this change either. The app has massive story thumbnails (that no one uses) and just doesn’t make good use of the space. The massive Facebook logo, for example, takes up a lot of screen real estate and definitely decreases the overall immersion of the experience. This tweet sums up pretty well how everyone felt about the app redesign when they first loaded it up.
The Facebook app updated… this was basically my reaction… I’m not a fan pic.twitter.com/0M714FpiOk
— its the great autumn Rachel (@rachel_mcfarlin) May 1, 2019
It is okay though, my brethren. We have been through much worse redesigns for apps before and I’m sure we can survive through this one as well.
Jokes aside, the app does feel much faster now and navigating through it feels so much more fluid and easier than before. It basically uses the design language of the Messenger app which got a much-needed overhaul a few months ago as well.
We finally have a dark mode on Facebook
Since Facebook is building on the Messenger overhaul it pushed out earlier this year, we expected some much coveted features to carry over to Facebook as well. One of the biggest features that every tech enthusiast craves in an app is dark mode. It just makes the viewing experience much more pleasant, especially at night (Black also looks cooler than white). Pure dark mode also saves battery on OLED screens that are being used in almost every new smartphone these days.
The dark mode is now finally coming to Facebook so, rejoice everyone! Sadly, though, it has only been announced for the website for now. However, it would be a surprise if the dark mode doesn’t eventually make it to the mobile app as well.
Get out Tinder, Facebook Dating is here
Another area that Facebook is diving into is socializing and dating. Yeah, you heard that right. Ditch your Tinder profiles because Facebook dating is now apparently going to be a thing. The new focus comes in the form of two features. The first one is called Secret Crush which is a part of Facebook Dating. This, as expected, will match you up with people of similar interests if you opt into it. We’re apparently just too lazy to socialize now and Facebook is going to do all that for us. Secret Crush works like Tinder and is already live in almost 20 countries.
The second feature is called Meet New Friends and as the name suggests, it makes you meet new friends. Meet New Friends will help people interact with strangers with the same interests or mutual connections. This feature is being directly baked into the groups and will connect people with similar connections and interests within them. The events tab is also being changed and will now have a ton of features paired with an intuitive design and a rich map.
What does this mean for the future of Facebook?
Facebook has had a pretty rough 2019 so far with millions of users leaving the platform amid privacy concerns. Mark Zuckerberg, throughout the whole conference, emphasized on how Facebook is trying to build a privacy-focused platform for its users. However, this has been proven to be false time and time again resulting in a lot of doubts over the credibility of Facebook as a platform. According to Mark, the biggest problem with Facebook right now lies in the news feed as it is the primary source of all fake news being shared. It has also resulted in a lot of privacy concerns as it picks up your activity and sends all that data back to Facebook for advertisers.
The change has not been received very well by the community so far. Changing the world’s view on Facebook as a whole and convincing everyone that Facebook does indeed care about the privacy of its users will be an extremely difficult challenge for the whole company. However, the platform is still the biggest in the world and is being used by billions. There is no doubt that Facebook can build up a reputation of being a privacy-focused platform. Time is running out though as more and more people are grabbing their pitchforks and torches against the platform. Maybe this change will fix the problems that everyone has with Facebook. Only time will tell.