Facebook tests new interface

    Posted on April 23, 2019


    Social networking giant Facebook has started to trial a new interface design for its mobile app.

    The updated design is a radical change for the company, and is one that will see the combination of both Stories and the news feed into a single feed. Furthermore, users will interact with the feed differently to the way they do now, with Facebook introducing a tap feature to scroll through these posts, similar to the way Stories currently works on Instagram and Snapchat.

    The test was first spotted by researched Jane Manchun Wong, who discovered the interface changes in the Facebook app for Android.

    At present, the main Facebook feed and the Stories feed exists alongside each other as separate entities and as distinct interfaces within all versions of the mobile app. Users can scroll down to see content within the news feeds, or tap on one of the card tiles along the top of the app to scroll through the Stories section of the site.

    In the new interface, news feed posts and Stories – including pictures, videos, text posts and even sponsored posts – will appear in the same part of the interface.

    Facebook Stories has largely remained unpopular since it was first introduced onto the app back in 2017, with the site not getting as much engagement with the feature as it would have liked, and in comparison to rival app Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram. This has started to change for the company, with more people beginning to interact with it. The company announced that on both Facebook and Messenger that the number of users posting to the story section of the app was recorded at 300 million daily users. Furthermore, Facebook predicts that Story posts will surpass the news feed in terms of popularity at some point this year.

    The future of the company’s news feed has been in question for some time now, since company CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook would be turning away from permanent public posts in favour of private and encrypted messaging. Some thought this statement suggested that the news feed would become a legacy product, with The Verge announcing the end of the news feed era.

    In response to the discovery of the new interface tests, a spokesperson from Facebook stated that the company was not testing it publicly, suggesting that the change may not make it to the public release stage.

    Facebook has also been testing reintegrating Messenger with the main app recently, suggesting that the company is looking to make some big changes.

    Alan Littler
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