Facebook is always making tweaks and introducing new features to lure in the handful of people out there who aren't already on the social network, and to keep those who frequently use Facebook happily posting pictures of food, dogs and kids. The social giant recently announced that it was bringing a new streaming video service to the network with a new Watch tab set to debut with some shows that Facebook has paid for itself. Facebook is now back with an announcement that it has made the News Feed easier to navigate.
Facebook's Shali Nguyen, Product Design Manager and Ryan Freitas, Design Director, wrote, "Every person’s News Feed is different and populated with a unique set of stories — from photos and videos to GIFs and links. And with so many types of stories available, each feed is more complex than ever. In order to make News Feed more conversational and easier to read and navigate, we’ll be making a few updates to its design over the coming weeks."
Facebook wants that news feed to be more conversational and to be easier for users to read and navigate. Facebook offered up some images of the app before the changes and after; one very noticeable aspect is that the blue color we have all seen for years is now gone in favor of muted gray tones. Rather than each comment on a post living in its own little box, the comments are now in gray bubbles that look a lot like what we have all seen for years in text messaging.
Part of the tweaks for comments were to make it easier for users to see which comments were direct replies to another person. The changelog has a number of improvements for reliability including increased color contrast to make text more legible and larger link previews for easier reading. The update also brings tweaked icons for Like, Comment, and Share buttons that are larger and easier to tap. That is a big deal for people who frequently access Facebook via mobile devices with smaller screens. Another tweak is circular profile pictures to show who is posting or commenting.
Navigation tweaks have been implemented as well with the ability to see where a link will take you before you tap it. Facebook promises the update makes it easier to see whose post you are commenting on, reacting to, or reading while you are in the post. And when you are done reading, there is a more prominent back button to get you back to your News Feed. Facebook does clearly say that the update won't affect the reach of a Page or referral traffic. No clarification on when the update will land had been offered other than the vague "in the coming weeks."