Facebook has traded in the blue background of its site for a more “modern”, all-white design that aims to put privacy at the forefront of users’ social interactions.
Announced at the company’s annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, the new FB5 design signals an attempt to distance the social networking site from the scandal it faced last year regarding the mishandling of users’ data.
Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg described the new design as “more modern” and “clean”, as the blue bar at the top of the site has been swapped for extra white space, and the square logo replaced with a circle.
Users will see these updates in the Facebook app immediately, whilst changes to the desktop site will come in the next few months.
Zuckerberg opened the event with a speech explaining how Facebook is building a more “privacy-focused social platform”, prioritising private interactions between friends and small groups.
“This isn’t just about building features, we need to change a lot of the ways we run this company today,” said Zuckerberg at the conference.
“I get that a lot of people aren’t sure that we’re serious about this – I know that we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly,” he continued. “But I’m committed to doing this well, and to starting a new chapter for our products.”
According to Zuckerberg, the overhaul is based on six principles: private interactions, encryption, reduced permanence, safety, inter-operability and secure data storage.
This includes creating “simple, intimate spaces” where users have confidence that what they are saying and doing is private, that these private communications are secure, and that what users say won’t “come back to hurt [them] later”.
As one of the most popular features on the site, with more than 400 million members of “meaningful” Facebook groups, private groups have been made a central focus of the app.
This aims to make it easier for people to go from public spaces on the site to more private ones, and introduces tools to better enable users to discover and engage with groups of people who share their interests.
The Groups tab has been redesigned to show a personalised feed of activity across all of the user’s groups, with a discovery tool and improved recommendations to allow users to quickly find groups they may be interested in.
The redesign also introduces new Health Support groups, where members can post questions and share information without their name appearing on a post.
The company also announced redesigns to the Messenger and Instagram apps, as well as updates on the Facebook Dating app, which now boasts a “Secret Crush” feature where users can find potential matches within their own extended circle of friends.
In a similar move towards a more private online presence, Gadi Amit’s studio New Deal Design recently collaborated with tech start-up Helm to create a home server to save people from “being caught up in the next massive online breach”.