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Facebook has been touting its new design for months now, giving users the option to toggle back and forth between what it’s calling Classic Facebook and the upgraded interface known as New Facebook. This has allowed users time to explore the new layout and features while the platform continues to finalize changes.
However, starting in September, Facebook will be making its layout upgrades permanent for everyone. Whether you use the network to stay in touch with loved ones or manage Pages for brands, New Facebook is officially here to stay.
Like most significant social media updates, Facebook’s new design has been met with an abundance of feedback and criticism, especially from professional marketers. To be fair, this is probably one of the most drastic updates Facebook has undergone in several years and includes major layout changes and new features such as dark mode.
Like most significant social media updates, Facebook’s new design has been met with an abundance of feedback and criticism.
Everything in New Facebook feels larger and sharper, which is more than likely due to the higher contrast the platform now has, an improvement when it comes to accessibility. For professional marketers, New Facebook features more than a few changes that could take some getting used to.
There are still multiple ways to access the Facebook Pages you manage, which seems excessive and makes it feel like there are too many clicks involved. The platform could easily rectify this issue if it added the Pages icon to the top of the screen alongside the icons for Home, Friends, Watch, Marketplace and Groups. This would also make it easier for the average Facebook user to scroll through the Pages they follow.
On the main timeline, the orange flag icon representing Pages is in a sidebar to the left with any Pages you have added as shortcuts listed below that area. Clicking the Pages icon will take you to a new screen where you can see all of your Facebook Pages and any notifications they have in a large-scale list. For whatever reason, they’re also duplicated in another sidebar on the same screen.
When you select a specific Page to visit, you get a view that’s reminiscent of Classic Facebook, but still with many noticeable differences. Instead of a Page’s main navigation being along the top, it’s now in the left sidebar. This sidebar is also the only way to navigate to your other Pages without going back to the main timeline. Strangely, the dropdown that shows your additional Pages does not show if they have new notifications like the other navigation areas do.
Creator Studio and Publishing Tools are both in the left sidebar as well, despite the fact that Facebook has been urging marketers to use Creator Studio for scheduling and drafting posts for some time now. Making the new user interface permanent seems like it would have been an ideal time to finally retire Publishing Tools.
New Facebook gives extra love to the Insights tab, featuring it in the left sidebar along with a few basic metrics on the main Page view, a shift from Classic Facebook. This could be handy for anyone newer to social media marketing who wants to become more familiar with their Page’s analytics.
The About section is also more obvious in New Facebook, shown just below the top area of a Page, making it easier for Page visitors to find your contact details, business description and social media information. This update may be due to the platform’s apparent decision to leave My Story behind in Classic Facebook. (My Story was the feature along the right side of a Page where you could previously showcase a picture and narrative about your business or brand in way that was formatted like a Facebook Note complete with the ability to hyperlink text.)
It doesn’t appear that any of the image specs for New Facebook have changed, and the header image is now truly the header with everything else on the Page below it, including the profile picture. The tabs that a Page visitor would have previously found listed vertically beneath the profile picture for things like Events, Photos and Videos are now listed horizontally below it. A Page will show the first four of these tabs and the rest will be hidden under a “more” dropdown menu, forcing Page managers to be more thoughtful about the order of their tabs. Scrolling down also causes the tabs to disappear while the profile picture, Page name, action button, Message button and Like button all snap to the top.
Overall, New Facebook is a lot to take in and leaves much to be desired for marketers. Not only does the navigation feel like it needs more streamlining, but many of the issues from Classic Facebook persist in the update. Ghost Page notifications still haunt the platform and cannot be cleared, Page Likes continue to exist despite being a useless vanity metric, and Creator Studio is plagued with loading issues and constantly crashes.
Hopefully, Facebook will continue to look for ways to make the platform more efficient for those who use it professionally, regardless of the permanence of the upgrade.