Facebook’s layout redesign: What’s new?

Earlier in 2020, Facebook announced that its users would be able to start trialing a new layout on the social network, designed to give you quicker access to the ‘Events’ and ‘Groups’ you’re a part of on the platform. Now that these changes have become mandatory for all users, you may have noticed a cleaner, simpler design with more generous amounts of white space but what else is new? Read on to learn more.

The history behind the new design

The newest Facebook design was originally announced at Facebook’s developer conference in2019, and was initially rolled out on the service’s iOS and Android apps. In March 2020, the new layout got a widespread release on desktop as an opt-in feature, leaving people free to continue using the old design if they wanted to. However, as of September 2020, the old design disappeared for good and the new layout was automatically introduced for all users.

The new interface is a big change from what Facebook has used for the past 10 years. The classic blue theme has been removed and replaced by what Facebook describes as a ‘visual marker for the company’s pivot toward privacy-focused communications.’

Facebook has also stated that it ‘realised’ that a lot of pixels on the homepage were ‘being taken up by features that don’t get a lot of usage’. Similarly, the areas that had become important — or that Facebook expected to become pillars of the desktop experience — were buried because they didn’t fit into the design structure established years ago.

What changes have been introduced?

Other than simpler fonts and less news columns, the most essential tabs have now been moved to the top of the screen. You’ll also notice a difference in the feeds at the top, now present on a redesigned menu bar: in addition to the News Feed, you’ll also see a Groups tab, a Gaming tab, and a Watch tab – previously found in the left-hand corner of the screen.

Clicking on the ‘Groups’ tab will bring you to a personalised feed of updates from groups you are a member of, while also suggesting groups for you to join based on your interests.

Facebook Stories have also been moved and are now above the ‘Update Status’ box.

Finally, the new site is now available to view in Dark Mode. This setting reduces your screen’s brightness and minimises screen glare and might be easier on the eyes when working in low light conditions. Too much white or blue light in the evening can also disturb your natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep.

To enable dark mode on your Facebook desktop:

  • Click on the arrow in the top right-hand corner of the screen
  • Scroll down and click on ‘Display Preferences’
  • Under ‘Appearance’ click on ‘Dark Mode’.

Do you like the new Facebook layout? Let us know in the comments below.

You can also read other JustAskThales posts about Facebook here: