Facebook has started rolling out a new clean design for desktop users with the dark mode option enabled. While the rollout has been going on for a few months, it was only today was I got to test it on my account. And no, I have not got the dark mode and redesign on the app. It is limited to the desktop for now.
The opt-in for the new design came in the form of an invite which asked if I wanted to test the new design. That did not need much convincing and soon I was looking at the new design.
The design does not change drastically. It is just much cleaner than before and easier on the eyes. I found that the regular mode had too much of white space and was hence a bit distracting.
The panels flanking the timeline seem to have been made a bit wider than before. In fact, the messenger pop-up is certainly wider and much better to use now. Notifications about your feed and pages now keep popping up on the right corner and fade away after a while. I like the location for this as it is a less obtrusive way to show the alerts, especially for a user like me who has to manage multiple pages. But the right panel now has an advertisement coming up at times.
Along with the Watch, Marketplace and Groups tabs, there is a new Gaming tab too at the top now. I guess I will ever go there, but it seems to be a good way to promote games and gamers. Also, there is a lot of live streaming happening there. Facebook is clearly trying to do get some of the young users as well as their engagement back into the platform. In fact, the left panel also offers a Go Live option so that you can stream your gameplay to followers. This seems to be a pretty big change in strategy from Menlo Park.
Toggling between dark and lite modes, or just switching back to ‘Classic Facebook’ can be done from the right corner of the page. Your regular notifications tab also appears here like before.
The change in design also impacts the pages you follow. However, in this new two-column design, I did not like how the content feed itself has been given lesser space. Since my intention of visiting any page is to consume content, that clearly has to be made the hero in a better way. Now the photos, videos and content feed seem to be jostling for space among themselves.
Overall, I like the new clean design and plan to stick to it, until maybe I find something missing. Facebook seems to be doing its best to make the users spend more time on its properties. For now, I am not sure this alone will help.