Facebook selectively testing redesigned Timeline and Groups pages

facebook testing new designRemember the pre-Timeline Facebook? Chances are you do, and given the reaction to the Timeline launch, chances are you preferred it. Well you’ll be happy to hear that Facebook has been testing out a few design changes to the Profile and Groups pages that is reminiscent of those simpler times. Check out at the potential new (old) looks. 

Facebook Timeline

facebook timeline redesign test

Content self-published to your Facebook profile page would be located on one left column, according to Inside Facebook. The redesign is being tested to just a select number of users, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed with Digital Trends.

The test design definitely revisits the old layout that Facebook scrapped when it introduced the Timeline. And it makes sense: This way our eyes are only moving down to read previous posts. Normally posts are published both on the left and right side of the vertical blue line. We’re probably not alone in suggesting that it gives us a headache to look left and right while scrolling down a friend’s Timeline to browse posts. The posts will also be wider than the Open Graph modules that sit on the right column.

There has been evidence that Facebook favored displaying posts vertically based on minor updates that the social network has made to our profile pages. You now might be more conscious of the fact that “Activity,” “Friends,” “Photos,” “Likes,” “Places,” and other types of Open Graph modules have been pushed off to the right column of the profile page and may extend as far as a third of the way down on your Timeline. For instance, with this current format, the first seven posts on my Timeline read from top to bottom anyway, without any of that left-to-right back-and-forth business. 

Screen shots from the test also indicate that the vertical blue line has been scrubbed as a feature altogether, and may indicate a lack of users publishing new posts using it. Without the redesign, users can add a new status, photo, place, or life event anywhere on their Timeline by selecting a place on the line. Facebook declined to comment on our suspicions.

Facebook Groups

facebook group redesign

We also recognized that Facebook is testing a completely redesigned Facebook Groups page with select users, which the social network also confirmed. Luckily we were in that batch and got a firsthand look at the potential new Facebook Groups.

The groups pages redesign has completely removed the left column where you’d find lists of your Facebook Pages, Message icon, Groups, Apps, and other categories. It’s a minimalistic design, reminiscent of the Timeline, that aesthetically places a lot of emphasis on collaborating in your group by removing any distracting features. The only way to browse to a different page is through the navigation bar at the top of your profile. If you can recall, Facebook added an engagement boosting feature “Seen by,” which displays the names of the group members that have seen the posts published to the group page.

The right column houses the page’s description, and replaces the profile images of members with just the number of group members. Below that you’ll find a list of ads. But all the major features including writing a post, adding a photo or video, asking a question, and adding a file from your computer or Dropbox remain.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Mobile

iOS 12.0.1 fixes iPhone XS charging issue, Wi-Fi bugs, and more

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Social Media

Snap a photo to follow a new friend on Instagram with its Nametags tool

Skip the typing and search bar -- Instagram now allows you to add friends using the in-app camera. Nametags are scannable graphics that will lead straight to your Instagram profile.
Computing

Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation

Facebook users in Europe distressed about Facebook's revelation that its latest breach left as many as 50 million users exposed could get some compensation. Facebook also faces a class-action suit and a broader GDPR investigation.
News

Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Thanks to digital assistants, voice controls are becoming commonplace. One day, we may even be using them in Facebook Messenger. The company has confirmed that it is currently conducting internal tests for Messenger voice commands.
Mobile

Find love with the best LGBT dating apps for iOS and Android

If you're looking to meet someone new, look no further than your phone. Whether it's just a date, or you're looking for something a little more serious, here are the best LGBT dating apps available for Android and iOS.
Smart Home

Creepy or convenient? Facebook’s new Portal smart display follows you around the room

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Amazon Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls between FB friends. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you…
Mobile

2018's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make an animated GIF

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Social Media

Instagram says its A.I. can track down bullying in photos

Instagram is turning to artificial intelligence to help it root out bullying on its platform. Following similar efforts to target bullying in comments, the company now has systems capable of detecting bullying in photos, too.
Social Media

Snapchat is using VR to let you step inside its new original shows

Tuning in to your favorite shows not enough? Snap Originals will allow viewers to set into a virtual set. The new exclusive shows debut today with three different shows. Snap Originals are vertical, short, and exclusive to the platform.