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Facebook launches redesign to focus on groups as it tries to make private social network

App and website are not even blue anymore, boss Mark Zuckerberg noted

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 30 April 2019 18:12 BST
Facebook F8: Company launches redesign to focus on groups as it tries to make private social network

Facebook is to be redesigned to focus on groups and other features, it has announced.

The fresh new look and range of other updates came as part of Facebook's attempt to show itself to be private and secure despite a range of data scandals.

As well as the redesign of Facebook, the company is bringing new updates to Messenger and WhatsApp, it said. They include private chats that the company says it can't read, in addition to new ways of talking to friends.

Facebook's redesign will help make it an easier way to find groups and other new features of the site, the company said.

But it also brings an entirely new look, one of the most dramatic redesigns of how the homepage looks on computers since it was launched. Mark Zuckerberg noted that the "app isn't even blue anymore", which is also true of the website.

(Facebook (Facebook)

The Facebook icon has also been changed to make it more "lively and modern", Mr Zuckerberg said.

As well as the visual redesign, the new website and app's look also come with a variety of changes underneath, which should allow them to load more quickly and more efficiently.

Facebook said the redesign and the focus on groups were part of its mission to become the public square of the internet. But it also acknowledged that it was part of a plan to rescue the company's reputation from the various problems it has faced in recent weeks.

"People have always come to Facebook to connect with friends and family, but over time it's become more than that – it’s also a place to connect with people who share your interests and passions," Facebook said in a release. "Today we’re making changes that put Groups at the center of Facebook and sharing new ways Facebook can help bring people together offline."

The change will arrive straight away in the Facebook app, and the new desktop version will come in the "next few months", Facebook said.

Facebook now has tens of millions of active groups, and more than 400 million people belong to them, it said.

Alongside the redesign, Facebook will add a host of new tools aimed at making it easier to be a part of groups.

It has an improved discovery tool, that will feature better recommendations, to let people find groups they might be interested in more easily.

It will also now be easier to share to those groups, Facebook said. Users will be able to share anything they find directly into groups from the news feed, just like happens now with sharing to friends and family.

There will also be a host of new features specifically tailored to members of different kinds of groups. In "Health Support" groups, for instance, users will be able to ask questions or post information without having their name attached to it; job groups will feature new templates to advertise for postings; gaming groups will allow people to chat within the group itself and buy and sell groups will let people more easily ask questions and buy things.

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