Social media giant Facebook has started rolling out a new, redesigned User Interface (UI), with the option of switching to "Dark Mode" for high contrast social media browsing.
The redesign, which features a reworked layout including a new desktop UI for the user profile, public page, community groups and video feeds, has been made available to users at random for testing and feedback.
The messenger tab has also been extensively reworked and now features bubbles and notification alerts similar to the Messenger app, while the shortcuts, search and fine print options have moved to the extremities. Multiple message windows on the desktop view are no longer a thing -- users will need to minimise each window before opening or replying to another.
In the middle, featuring plenty of negative space on either side, is a home feed that borrows quite a few design elements from Facebook's subsidiary social platform, Instagram. Pages now come with brand new design elements like a faded background that automatically picks a colour from the page's cover image to create a gradient.
The likes of Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have offered users the option of browsing with a dark mode (which experts say reduce eye strain and improve battery life for mobile devices) for years, but Facebook, undoubtedly the most popular social media platform around the world, has so far stayed away from the feature.
While the display width is still full-screen for the update, the reduced home feed width comes with a few image display issues -- standalone wide photos get cropped on either side to fit the square ratio popularised by Instagram and Twitter.
Along with the design updates comes a few functionality additions as well, such as a much-needed "Undo" option that appears and winds down after the user shares a post. While the option of removing embarrassing or compromising messages on Messenger threads was a welcome addition in the recent past, the undo option for post shares is a novel feature.
There is no news on what the mobile app looks like or when Facebook will be rolling out the update and force users to switch to the new layout, but frequent social media users -- including entrepreneurs, media professionals and casual scrollers -- should probably get used to it.