Facebook’s F8 conference is currently underway, which means that Mark Zuckerberg’s company will attempt to rebrand itself as new and improved following its absolute shitshow of a year in 2018. Also: privacy, I guess.
First things first: New year, new look, baby! In a change that is admittedly long overdue, Zuckerberg unveiled a new design for his beleaguered social media giant that is being referred to by the company as FB5 (it’s also... vaguely familiar). This new Facebook dips on its signature blue theme in favor of a very white makeover.
In this new, sinless version of the social media platform that is widely known for slowly eroding democracy, Facebook Stories—one of its Snapchat copycats—will appear up top on the home screen of both mobile and desktop, followed by the status bar and the news feed. Basically, it looks more like Instagram now. The rollout of the updated interface will launch today on mobile and in the coming months for desktop.
In addition to the bleached version of Facebook’s new app, the company also announced that Messenger is getting a revamp to make it “be faster and lighter than ever before.” The Messenger app is also coming to desktop later this year with a stand-alone app and will allow for group video calls and in-app multitasking. Also coming to Messenger is a new “dedicated space where you can discover Stories and messages with your closest friends and family. You’ll also be able to share snippets from your own day and can choose exactly who sees what you post.” Fun!
Beyond the simple look of the site and app, Facebook says its redesign is focused on different kinds of content than just the News Feed, specifically groups and events. Its redesigned groups tab allows for more customized feeds for discovery in addition to allowing Facebook users to share content to groups they’re a part of directly from their News Feed. A new tab with location-specific information for events, businesses, and other recommendations will rollout this summer.
Best of all, however, is that Facebook is now trying to play matchmaker for the billions of people who use its platform, which the company says will allow its users to “discover potential matches within your own Facebook communities: events, groups, friends of friends and more.” But wait, there’s more! Facebook is also introducing a feature called Secret Crush which in no way will backfire.
“If you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends who you want to express interest in,” the company said in a press release. “If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list, no one will know that you’ve entered a friend’s name.” When on Facebook, as the kids say!
If Facebook thinks that its funky new dating feature and its white-washed interface is going to free it from blame for destroying society, man, Zuckerberg has another thing coming.