Upcoming Facebook redesign to feature circular profile shots, fewer blue bars

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Alexander Kirch / 123RF
Say goodbye to Facebook’s characteristic blue toolbar and hello to circular profile shots — Facebook will be redesigning the news feed over the next few weeks, the company announced on Tuesday. The Facebook redesign comes as the company expands the Facebook Camera capabilities to include GIFs, live-streaming, and the option for crafting those colorful status updates.

The new design brings a feature Facebook began testing in the spring — comments that look like chat bubbles. With the update, comments on posts will look more like Messenger chats than Facebook’s usual news feed, with gray speech bubbles around the comments. Options for liking or responding via emoji, of course, remain intact.

In a number of places, that characteristic blue bar disappears to eek out every last millimeter of screen space. When viewing a post to reply or clicking a link, the blue bar is gone, with just an arrow next to the user’s profile picture directing users back to the news feed. Do not get too nostalgic though — that blue bar remains intact while scrolling through the news feed, housing the search bar and chat shortcuts.

Profile pictures will also adapt a circular shape inside the news feed, similar to how they look inside Messenger. Facebook says the refresh also brings more contrast for better legibility, larger link previews, and larger icons, making it easier to tap those like, comment, and share options.

The changes give Facebook’s news feed more in common with the platform’s Messenger app. Facebook says the changes are designed to make the news feed more conversational as well as easier to navigate.

The announcement for the upcoming design changes hit the same time the platform launched several new features to Facebook Camera. After testing the ability to go live and record GIFs directly from Facebook Camera earlier this summer, the feature is now rolling out to all users. Recording live video and GIFs inside Facebook Camera allows users to take advantage of the platform’s augmented reality facial filters and special effects while live. The option to add to Stories directly from Facebook Camera is also part of the update.

The update also brings those colorful status updates into Facebook Camera — because why post a plain text update when you can post one with multi-colored backgrounds and giant text? The feature turns text-based posts into images, and using that option inside Facebook Camera allows users to also post the update to their Stories.

While the Facebook Camera update began rolling out Tuesday, the design refresh will happen over the next few weeks, Facebook said.

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