Speak of social networking and the first name in one’s mind has got to be Facebook. Ever since it was founded in 2004, Facebook has been steered by creator Mark Zuckerberg toward the development of a true online community. Unfortunately after 15 years in operation, the Facebook ideal is a foreign land to the reality. Rather than constructive discussion in Groups and fun interaction in Watch or Events, FB users tend to spend more time plowing through news feeds and photo albums, viral videos and “fake news.” User data leaks were a problem too. Clearly, Facebook was due for change.
And change is coming. Tech Crunch reports that a major revamp of the Facebook user experience is on the works for impending implementation. This update is called “FB5,” and it is heralded by a slight alteration of the FB logo once it is on. This redesign was first previewed by Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook leader at the F8 developers’ conference Tuesday, April 30. From screenshots of the FB5 Facebook layout, the look seems to prioritize bigger white spaces and less shades of blue. The end result is a cool and calm visual, while also hiding all available features but the ones Zuckerberg considers vital.
There are of course versions of FB for desktop and mobile app. A streamlined design convention makes the interface for the two platforms rather similar, and as part of repackaging the platform’s image the central feature of FB is the Groups. Having Facebook users joining and actively interacting with members within the same Groups that tie into their interests is one of the top objectives by the company for FB5, although the many other features well known and frequently used by FB regulars are still there, only hidden in a “More” tab to reduce bloat.
Speaking of these other features, another major spotlight for FB5 is Facebook Marketplace. Here, FB users will be able to post up items for sale and expect their listings to get lots of views, from which potential buyers will be. With the ability of Marketplaces sellers to receive direct payments via the Facebook platform and be able to offer buyer-expense shipping anywhere, the FB revamp seems set to make it compete with similar platforms like Shopify. An easy-on-the-eyes “Dark Mode” option is also part of FBS. About the only existing feature that might still need work is the Watch page.
Mark Zuckerberg’s pitch for a new Facebook experience sounds all well and good. Still, the old specter of failed online privacy on the service is a nasty thorn. So far the F8 presentation has not offered substantial information on solutions. Facebook aside, new stuff for Messenger, Instagram and the Oculus Quest were discussed at F8.
Images courtesy of 9to5 Mac