Facebook are trying to start over with a clean slate, ditching their signature blue theme for a plain white one.
Last year, Facebook were caught divulging personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent, in order to build voter profiles for the Trump presidential campaign. There were further accusations of spreading misinformation and toxic content and being used as a tool for election interference. They’re also expected to be hit with a $5 billion fine by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations.
After scoring very poor on a recent Axios and Harris reputability poll, Zuckerberg is using new tactics to regain the trust of his 2.4 billion monthly active Facebook users.
On the annual developer conference, Facebook unveiled a redesign of its mobile app and desktop site. This in line with new plans to shift focus of the social media site towards private and encrypted communications, rather than public posts.
Many Facebook users choose to to filter their audience by posting in private groups of like-minded people, rather than sharing their opinions with their entire friends list, “by far, the three fastest-growing areas of online communication are private messaging, groups and Stories,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
Soon, new features will promote group-based communications instead of the News Feed. The changes are planned to make it easier for members of a group to message and share content amongst one another, including adding a Groups tab to its main mobile app and desktop menus. Group recommendations will pop up around various locations of the app too.
Messages meant for close friends and family will have their own section inside Facebook Messenger too, so you soon won’t have to scroll through a long list of messages to find certain people.
With the success of Snapchat, Zuckerberg’s working to further promote the use of Facebook Stories, “in 2019, we expect the amount of Stories that are shared to outnumber the amount of Feed posts that are shared.”
In a, perhaps, slightly desperate bid to stay relevant; Facebook plans to introduce a Dating feature to more than a dozen new countries, including Thailand and Canada. The service won’t be available to US users just yet, though.
Facebook also has plans to roll out dozens of small product updates across its four main apps: Whatsapp, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook. Zuckerberg is especially working on integrating and encrypting Whatsapp and Messenger.
Whilst these features will certainly make the app more user-friendly, it’s still difficult to see how they Facebook more trustworthy.