Earlier this year, Facebook announced a new user interface that would overtake so-called “classic Facebook” in September. This means bye-bye 👋 to the old look and hello to a refreshed, updated interface. One of the main motivations for switching to a new Facebook interface (or FB5 as they call it) is a company-wide pivot toward privacy-focused communications.
Another big motivation is simply that Facebook’s desktop UI has remained essentially unchanged for years, and what worked in 2012 doesn’t really translate to a great 2020 user experience. Oh, how time passes...
What the new design addresses:
A need for better overall functionality
Too much space being used for irrelevant features
Changes to achieve a cleaner, less cluttered look
Among the changes in the new interface:
Updated navigation bar
Condense search bar
Top-centered icons for the most frequently trafficked features
Unfortunately for Facebook, the UI change has been received with very mixed reviews, and despite the months-long lead time on changes, it seems likely that people will continue to have to grapple with getting used to “new Facebook” for a while.
You can’t please everyone
The new Facebook design has triggered quite a few (negative) emotions from users. The change was made permanent on September 1, 2020, so users and Facebook engineers will have to adapt and make the best of a new situation.
A quick search for “Facebook interface” on Twitter shows that a lot of people aren’t loving the updates, and some are even reporting issues with the desktop interface loading. Well, anyone who has ever done anything knows that it’s impossible to please everyone, so these mixed reviews are far from shocking.
Some common criticisms (so far):
Confusing, especially regarding the icons being user
Hard to navigate
Reportedly buggy and doesn't load correctly
Why do we care?
Well, truth be told, our team feels pretty lukewarm toward these changes. However, since we’re in the business of paid social, a big interface change like this could have unexpected influence over Facebook ad campaigns. To put it plainly: the success of Facebook ads is intrinsically tied to the functionality and popularity of Facebook itself.
With web browsing increasingly trending toward mobile usage, this change seems like a warranted update to accommodate evolving preferences.
It’s hard to say right now if these changes will turn out to be positive for the overall user experience or anger frequent Facebook users to the point of no return. But from a personal point of view, if users haven’t been deterred by previous Facebook updates, scandals, and complaints, this remodeled UI seems unlikely to push users away.
For now, Facebook advertising is safe (and we love to see it!).
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