(Pocket-lint) - In the history of Facebook, there have been four major redesigns.
The latest one, FB5, otherwise known as the "New Facebook", might be the most dramatic of them all. It's a total shift in how Facebook looks and works on desktop and mobile. It even introduces a site-wide dark mode. Don't have a meltdown just yet. It's been many years since a massive design change came to Facebook, so this news is both welcomed and much-needed, even if it's jarring.
To help you navigate the change, we're breaking down what to expect.
What is the 'New Facebook'?
At the F8 2019 conference, Facebook executives announced the social network plans to push out a massive redesign called the "New Facebook". It's an interface update that will place a bigger emphasis on Groups and Events - two of the biggest reasons people visit Facebook on a daily basis. This subsequently also means that the News Feed will be featured way less in the "New Facebook".
Both the desktop website and the mobile app will automatically receive the update, hopefully making Facebook easier to navigate while also modernising its look for the new decade. Facebook described it as a cleaner design, with more of an all-white look and even a dark mode option.
What's new with Facebook?
Visually, Facebook's redesign is carried throughout the desktop and mobile apps. It's a cleaner, brighter, more contemporary Facebook. Here’s a look at CEO Mark Zuckerberg showing off the mostly-white design at the F8 2019 conference:
If you're not a fan of the bright look, you'll be happy to know that, because dark modes have become a huge trend, Facebook has decided to offer its own dark mode for desktop and iPhone users with this update. (Go here to learn how to get this dark mode now for Messenger.)
Here’s a quick video from Facebook showing off the look:
Here's a closer look at FB5, including Dark Mode for web, coming soon. pic.twitter.com/Z55iUOdekr— Facebook (@Facebook) April 30, 2019
News Feed and Groups
Perhaps the biggest change to Facebook is the News Feed. Facebook is doubling down on group communities and private interactions and has suggested we can expect a major disruption in how we get our content from Facebook in the future. It floated the notion that friends and family should be the core of our social lives. So, Facebook Groups will now be prioritised and surfaced more to you.
That doesn't mean the News Feed is dead. In fact, press imagery for the "New Facebook" still shows a stream of status updates.
Facebook said the Groups Tab has been overhauled to make finding new groups that you might be interested in even easier. The feed for groups will also serve up recent activity within groups you’re a member of and may even replace the News Feed as the default feed. You’ll also see more connections among groups and the Facebook features you use the most, such as Marketplace or Facebook Watch.
There will also be new features events and for specific communities, like Chat for Gaming Groups, as well as interaction improvements for Facebook Live and those who use it for buying and selling purposes.
When will the 'New Facebook' arrive?
Facebook began rolling out the "New Facebook" to mobile users in late 2019. Facebook finally began letting desktop users try it in March 2020.
How to get the 'New Facebook'
Facebook is now allowing people to try the "New Facebook" from a desktop. Just log in to Facebook on your computer, go to your Settings drop-down menu, and select the option toward the bottom that says "Switch to New Facebook."
To switch back to the old Facebook and its classic white design, simply go to the Settings drop-down menu and disable it.
To try the "New Facebook" on your Android or iOS device, just make sure you're running the latest version of the Facebook mobile app.
How to turn on dark mode
While switching to the "New Facebook", you will automatically be brought to the all-new look and shown a card detailing the changes. Then, you will be allowed to choose the dark mode. If you've missed this step, at any time, you can go to the Settings menu to toggle on dark mode.
Although Facebook hasn’t formally announced dark mode for iOS is available yet, it has begun appearing for some iPhone and iPad users. Open the Facebook app on an iOS device, then tap the Menu tab on the bottom menu, and scroll down and tap Privacy and Settings. A toggle for Dark Mode will appear, should it be available to you. Tap it to turn on the new dark mode.