With over 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is continuously working to improve performance and user experience.
You may have noticed that your Facebook mobile app has changed in appearance, showing a clean white background rather than the traditional blue branding. This comes as part of Facebook’s recent update.
According to research, Groups, Messaging and Stories on Facebook are the quickest growing areas of communication. These features now appear on the mobile site and will soon appear on the desktop site.
Facebook is encouraging group-based communications to improve privacy. There is a tab on the mobile site which allows you to view updates from existing groups and to discover new groups. This is set to overtake News Feed communications, which is where we currently post our updates.
When posting updates on Facebook to Timelines or News Feeds, we will also be able to post updates to the groups that we are members of.
There will be the option to request that group administrators post our content anonymously, to protect our privacy or sensitive information.
Although our content will be more secure, it could become harder to moderate and police content shared. This may create additional pressure for group administrators if the number of users in groups is set to rise.
There is now an emphasis on the Stories feature as they are on track to overtake the amount of content shared in our News Feeds by the end of 2019. Stories will appear inside of Messenger, Groups and Watch videos to give them more prominence.
Messaging each other is easier with a messaging button now featuring on the main News Feed page. Facebook are working to improve the functionality and performance of the Messenger app, making it the safest and quickest private messaging platform available.
Facebook are integrating WhatsApp and Instagram into their Messenger app, creating the ability for us to call or message friends that are on those platforms.
Meeting new friends on Facebook has been made easier as we’ll be able to connect with people based on our shared interests, communities or events.
There is going to be a desktop version of the Messenger app available for all devices in all countries, improving ease of access. We’ll also be able to watch videos together inside the Messenger app.
These updates are live across the mobile site and are expected to be live across the desktop site over the next few months.
The next update will integrate an app like feel to the desktop site so that the look and feel will provide ease of use and improved user experience.
On the desktop site, we’ll be able to visit different updates, profiles, groups or Facebook features, then returning to where we were with the use of a new back button.
We’ll also be able to choose between a normal or darker background. This option will be useful for when we’re visiting Facebook using low-level lighting or watching videos. It creates a more comfortable user experience, reducing eye strain and in some cases, may reduce migraines.
A new responsive design has been created for devices and screens of all sizes to improve user experience. Font sizes will be adjustable to accommodate different user capabilities, whether that is through our website browser settings or the Facebook site.
It hasn’t been released in the UK yet, but in the US there is a function which allows users to purchase and ship products that are bought on the Marketplace. This has been designed to create security for users so that payments aren’t made outside of Facebook – similar to apps like eBay and Depop.
In conclusion, there are many positives to come from the update but it will come down to personal preference whether we find the new updates useful.