At the end of last month, Facebook announced that it would be getting what will probably be the biggest ever redesign of the platform in 15 years. The new look was officially revealed at the annual Facebook Developers conference, (F8) in California.
The new design will remove the ubiquitous blue menu bar, and replace it with a cleaner, white design that places a greater emphasis on groups. The planned design is reminiscent of the increasingly popular Messenger app, and the similarly increasingly popular Instagram.
Over the last two years, Facebook has faced a slew of content and data scandals, from enabling election interference, being used to spread hate speech that contributed to genocide in Myanmar, the misappropriation of tens of millions of user data, and the ever popular fake news.
In addition, for the first time ever, average time spent globally on Facebook has not increased in the last year, and analysts are in fact predicting a decline in the time spent on the platform, particularly as platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp (both also owned by Facebook).
In addition to the Facebook redesign, (which has already rolled out on mobile, although not yet on desktop), Facebook also announced structural changes like an increased prominence for Groups and Stories, a “Meet New Friends: feature to facilitate offline interaction, and new Marketplace shipping functionality to help facilitate the delivery of items.
As well as the Facebook redesign and changes, the company also announced changes to WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
Although the WhatsApp changes were less clearly specified than those for other platforms, they did mention the addition of a business catalogue within the messaging app, to help users connect with businesses, and browse products directly in the app.
Instagram on the other hand, is apparently going to have a greater focus on connecting people with each other, and implementing new camera functionality. It will also enable a function to allow users to buy directly from creators they follow, without leaving the app.
Messenger on the other hand, will see a complete ground-up redesign, which will include features such as end-to-end encryption, a desktop app, and a faster, lighter performance.
The new Messenger will begin to roll out later this year, and will also include the ability to watch Facebook videos with friends while messaging or on a video call, a dedicated space for viewing frineds stories and messages, and improved ad features.