After initially announcing its coming desktop refresh at its F8 developer conference last May, and slowly, gradually making it available to selected user groups over time, Facebook has finally announced that all users can now switch over the new Facebook desktop layout.
As you can see here, the new format centralizes the News Feed and adds more space to the layout, increasing the emphasis on each specific element. Functionally, there are no major changes – the key aim of the update is to improve navigation between the various elements – with a particular focus on groups, while it also brings the desktop version more in line with the mobile app.
I’ve had access to the new desktop layout for a little while, and while it does take a moment to get used to, once you do, it’s functional and easy to navigate. I’m not sure that it feels like an improvement, but it works as intended – and as noted, it aligns better with the processes within the app.
And that, of course, is where the majority of Facebook users access the platform anyway. In this respect, the desktop is a lesser consideration – but still, millions of people log into the desktop version every day, and Facebook needs to ensure it caters to all user groups.
If you want to make the switch and try it out, you can do so in the main settings menu.
As you can see on the left, you can also switch back to the old version if you find that it’s just not working for you – though be warned, Facebook will no doubt look to remove that option at some stage in the future.
You may have also noted another setting in the new menu.
Yes, you can now switch to ‘dark mode’ in the updated format.
This is only for the desktop version – Facebook still doesn’t have a ‘dark mode’ option in the mobile app, though that option is getting closer to launch. If you’re keen to get a taste of what it will eventually look like, the desktop version will have to suffice, at least for the time being.
As noted, the new desktop layout should be available to everyone shortly, though Facebook did note in a statement to TechCrunch that:
“Starting today, the majority of people on Facebook will have access to the new desktop design”
So maybe not everyone just yet. If you’re not seeing the option in your settings menu, hold tight, it’ll be available to you shortly.