A New Look Coming for Facebook
One of the announcements made at the recent F8 Conference hosted by Facebook, is that the platform itself will be getting something of a makeover, with a brand new look that abandons its traditional blue scheme. Some industry experts believe this step is an attempt by the platform to disassociate itself from the problems of recent history, e.g. data theft, privacy scandals, etc. There are also some changes upcoming with regard to Groups, and some significant changes in store for Facebook Dating. Details on all these changes are included below for your convenience and reference.
The biggest change that people will notice right away is that the traditional blue has been discarded, and has been replaced primarily by white backgrounds everywhere. There’s also a new tab-like design, which closely approximates the mobile version of the app, with each individual element receiving its own focus so that navigation is in general, much easier. The mobile version of Facebook has likewise discarded most of the blue coloration which formerly distinguished the platform. The color scheme is not really much of a surprise, because it was actually observed some time ago when it was being developed and tested, but Facebook executives like to point out that it’s not just the color scheme and the aesthetics which are being updated.
According to company officials, the redesign is also intended to help people navigate more freely from public spaces to private spaces, for instance in Groups. Given the fact that there are millions and millions of active groups on the platform, many of these groups have become the focal point of how users interact with Facebook, and with their connections on the platform. That’s a big reason why Facebook has introduced a number of new tools which will make it easier to find and connect with groups of people who have the same kind of interests that you do.
One specific change involves having the new Groups tab show a personalized activity feed across all those groups which you belong to. It will also recommend other groups which are similar to those interests you have, in an effort to connect you with like-minded individuals. This will also trigger additional Groups content appearing in most people’s News Feeds, since it will also feature an opt-in capability to Meet New Friends. This enhancement is expected to help people begin new friendships with individuals belonging to their shared communities. Facebook is very insistent on demonstrating that its platform can be extremely beneficial in a community setting, and that it can help people form new and worthwhile relationships.
Tools for specific groups
There are some dedicated features which have been developed by Facebook, and which the platform will roll out for some groups in particular. Being aware that different communities have various needs, Facebook is introducing a variety of new features which will accommodate the wide range of group types on the platform. As one example, the Health Support groups will have the ability to post questions and to exchange information, without having their identities revealed on any particular post.
Some of the gaming groups on the platform will have a new chat feature that members can use to create for various topics and threads of conversation within the group. Since it’s known that a number of people use Facebook Live to make sales from within Buy and Sell groups, Facebook is also investigating various possibilities which would allow buyers to pose questions during broadcasts as well as to place orders, while staying right within the ongoing live broadcast.
These new features being offered to specific groups are expected to encourage a whole lot of more specific questions without the possibility of the originator being embarrassed, and that in turn will open Groups up to considerably more questions, since users are less worried about external scrutiny. As a whole, the utility of Groups in Facebook is expected to be far more useful and far more used, which is exactly what the intent was in the first place.
It’s entirely possible that some of these new Group additions will take off and become extremely popular, such as the Facebook Live group option mentioned above. Businesses for instance, would find this to be extremely valuable, because it will allow them to connect with their audiences and sell whatever products they have available, directly to Buy and Sell groups.
Currently, Facebook Dating is available in five countries, and it will be soon rolled out to an additional 14 countries, allowing vastly more singles to connect with possible partners via their Facebook Dating profile. In addition to the wider rollout, Facebook is also launching a brand-new enhancement called Secret Crush, which will allow Facebook users to choose as many as nine of their current friends on the platform, with which whom they would like to express some kind of romantic interest.
This would of course, require that those friends be signed up for Facebook Dating, and if so, they would receive a notification letting them know that somebody has expressed romantic interest in them. If your Facebook friend has opted in to Facebook Dating, and receives a notification of someone having a crush on them, they could add you to their own Secret Crush list, thereby creating a match.
Wider rollout of Facebook Portal
In another announcement, Facebook has let it be known that it’s Portal smart speaker device will be made available in a number of new areas, and that it will be adding encrypted video chat through WhatsApp as an option for its users, so they can take advantage of increased privacy. This is likely to appeal to a number of users, given the fact that privacy is always a big concern, especially in light of recent problems brought to light on many of the social media platforms.
The rollout of Portal internationally will start in June, with Canada being first on the list. Later this fall, Europe will also be targeted, so that all these users can be on equal footing with United States users who have already been using Portal for some time now. Facebook considers the rollout of Portal to be a huge success and claims that it has performed even better than their initial expectations, so global usage would seem to be something that the social media giant will get very positive feedback from.