If we could play a word-association game around Facebook, we’d probably say “blue” and “squares” as our go-to description of the social media giant’s mobile app and desktop interface.
Those associations will soon change to “grey” and “circles,” however, as Facebook has unveiled plans to revamp the News Feed, altering some long-running aesthetic choices in favor of the new.
First off, conversations on Facebook posts are getting a new coat of paint to look more, to our eye, like Facebook Messenger. The blocky fields are swapped out for rounder conversation bubbles to make a post and replies appear more like a modern messaging app.
Secondly, the News Feed proper is getting a few readability tweaks of its own, such as bigger, higher-contrast text on the ‘Like/Comment/Share’ buttons so that they’re easier to tap. Link previews are also getting enlarged text for an easier read.
Speaking of links, the News Feed makeover also features changes that make it easier for viewers to see where a link may take them before clicking (and potentially help users identify clickbait before it’s too late).
Another big change likely to be met with some scorn are circular profile pictures, replacing square pics to match the rounded-down, monochrome look that’s apparently become so hip since Instagram changed its look in a similar way back in 2016.
While innocuous at first, we learned from Twitter’s last refresh that users might not take to the new profile pic shape too kindly. Critics of #NewTwitter at the time claimed circles looked uninteresting, as well as made it difficult for profiles to use text, certain logos or QR codes as their avatar.
Love it or leave it, Facebook’s new design is expected to roll out to users over the coming weeks. The company claims the change shouldn’t impact a page’s reach or traffic, causing no inconvenience — minus changing to a circle-friendly profile picture, of course.