Change is hard. Here’s your first sneak peek at what Facebook is going to look like soon.
And most people are going to hate it. At least at first.
Facebook will undergo a facelift over the next several months, drastically changing the simple look it adopted when it began accepting users worldwide.
The new design, which is currently undergoing beta testing, includes a ‘dark mode’ and uses much more of the screen real estate as it does now. I was invited to participate in the beta program and thought you’d be interested in seeing and hearing what you can expect from the new design.
In dark mode, the background of the newsfeed and timelines is black with white text. You can toggle dark mode off and on as you like. Dark mode, whether it’s on a mobile device or in Spotify or another web service is loved by many but I feel it’s really just a personal preference. I’m not crazy about dark mode in iOS 13 but I have friends who’ve been using it exclusively since updating their phones.
The new Facebook design takes advantage of the entire computer screen. The old design did not use all of the screen real estate on either side of the timeline/newsfeed. The columns in the new design go edge-to-edge. On the left-hand side of the newsfeed are the personal options such as a link to your personal profile, any pages you manage, groups you belong to, calendar of events, memories and friends list. On the right-hand side of the timeline is the “birthdays” list and contacts you’ve recently interacted with on Facebook Messenger.
At the top of the page are tabs for home, Facebook Watch, Marketplace, Facebook Groups and, a new one, Facebook Gaming. Gaming is getting attention from the social network and a click of that tab takes you to the Gaming platform where you can watch others play games online or go live yourself.
Looking at someone’s Facebook profile is a good bit different in the new design. Profile pages are easier to see with larger photos and the text is larger making it much easier to read posts and other information.
A Facebook spokesman told me the new design is built to be more immersive, faster and will bring the things you look at most on Facebook to the front. The new design is set to roll out globally early next year.