Taking inspiration from line drawings, Reddit, and Messenger, Facebook is overhauling the design of the News Feed to make it more legible, clickable, and commentable. Specifically, Facebook now makes it much clearer where threads start and end in comments. Meanwhile, Instagram today got a little redesign itself with comment reels now being threaded so you can have sub-conversations in public.
Facebook periodically updates its design, typically stripping out unnecessary “chrome”, or user interface framing, to create a sleeker, more readable look. There’s more and more white space on Facebook, which could be intended to reduce eye fatigue during long browsing sessions and let your friends’ content pop off the screen more vividly.
Facebook is adopting the Messenger bubble style for comments. This will both make threading more obvious, but also encourage the rapid-fire conversations people typically have in private messages. Facebook has been trying to make comments feel more alive recently with fast-moving conversations becoming their own chat windows.
Navigation And Like Buttons
Facebook has made its navigation and feedback buttons bigger and easier to recognize with a new unfilled line drawing style. The News Feed, Video, Marketplace, Like, Comment, and Share buttons now all feature this look. Meanwhile, Facebook is swapping the classic globe notifications icon for a more standard alerts bell. These could all be less distracting to the eye so you focus on Facebook’s content, not its chrome.
Other redesigns for legibility include higher contrast text that’s easier to see and circular profile photos that take up less space and feel more human. Link previews are now a little bigger too, which could get more people clicking and sending referral traffic to other sites. However, Facebook says today’s changes shouldn’t impact the reach or traffic of Pages. The URL domain is now more prominent, appearing above the link’s headline, which could reduce the likelihood that users click fake hoax sites that mimic popular news publisher URLs.
Knowing Where You Are
Facebook wants to make sure you don’t get lost several layers deep beyond the feed. Now you’ll see a more obvious header with a bigger black back button when you dive into a post from the News Feed. Facebook also says you’ll be able to “See where a link will take you before clicking on it” though it already had link previews, blurbs, and URLs so we’ve asked for clarification here.