Facebook is redesigning both its mobile app and website to focus more on groups and other more pertinent content and less on the news feed.
The redesign follows Facebook's plans to change its image and reputation as a more private, intimate social network.
"[W]e're rolling out a fresh new design for Facebook that's simpler and puts your communities at the center. We're also introducing new tools that will help make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests," Facebook said, as The Verge reports.
The changes, announced Tuesday at its F8 Conference in San Jose, California, highlights Groups and makes it a bigger part of the overall Facebook experience. The redesigned mobile app displays groups the user has joined in, in addition to showing a dedicated Groups tab that includes a personalized feed of activity from all groups a user is subscribed to. Say goodbye to blue too — Facebook is going to frame the Facebook experience mostly in white instead of its typical dark blue hue.
The Events tab is also receiving a new paint job, and it'll now let users see what's happening around them, in addition to making it easier to discover local businesses and connect with friends to make plans or attend various events.
Is The News Feed Going Away?
Clearly, Facebook is future-proofing its services for the impending News Feed-less era, which is why the company will surface more content from Groups on the News Feed instead of usual items found there. Such changes are all part of Facebook wanting more people to focus on Groups, which it says 400 million people heavily rely on for a number of things, including support communities.
Facebook says the new design will start rolling out immediately on iOS and Android around the world.
Facebook Web Redesign
In addition to a visual overhaul for the mobile app, Facebook is also working on a new design for the web experience. The new look, featured below, cleans up the user interface and puts only the most important elements — Search, a sleeker Menu bar, the Stories section, a Sidebar, Contacts, and, of course, the News Feed — front and center.
But beyond just changing Facebook's aesthetics, the company is also redefining the type of services it offers and what kind of company it wants to be. Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he wants to make Facebook a more "privacy-focused communications platform."
Part of that is pivoting away from the News Feed. While this public feed has been Facebook's most notable feature that, allowing people to engage and interact with one another, it's also been the source of the company's ongoing problems around data privacy, security, and platform misuse.
Of course, the News Feed isn't going away anytime soon. But it's clear that, especially with the popularity of Instagram Stories, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitch, the News Feed has overstayed its welcome and now feels an antiquated way of letting users connect. By putting more focus on groups, Facebook users are not beholden to the quirks and mishaps of the News Feed algorithm.
The redesigned web version will arrive later this year.