Facebook Unveils Major Redesign, Focuses On Groups

The New York Times reports:

Mark Zuckerberg declared last month that he planned to shift Facebook away from being a public town square and to private communications. Now the chief executive is rolling out the first in a series of changes to achieve that.

On Tuesday at its annual developer conference, Facebook unveiled a redesign of its mobile app and desktop site. The revisions add new features to promote group-based communications instead of News Feed, where people publicly post a cascade of messages and status updates.

With the changes, users can more easily message one another and share news and other items with members of private groups on the site, the company said. Mr. Zuckerberg is working to integrate and encrypt Facebook’s different messaging services, which include WhatsApp and Messenger.

Mashable reports:

The redesigned version of the app is starting to roll out now, and the desktop changes will be coming later this year.

The biggest change is, well, everything. Both Facebook’s app and website look completely different (and, like new Twitter, very very white). Seriously, if you thought Facebook’s last major redesign came with a lot of extra white space, you’ll probably find the newest look even more jarring.

The familiar blue bar at the top is gone — replaced with a big, bright Facebook logo — and the navigational icons have moved to the top of the app. Stories icons are much larger and the status update box is smaller and less prominent.