Congratulations, everybody whose feelings have ever been hurt by a website redesign. You won! Facebook is keeping the old News Feed! Your pain has been acknowledged! For the rest of us, yeah, they’re redesigning it again.
Facebook redesigns are, of course, old hat, just like the Internet rage they spawn, but that Facebook is backtracking is interesting. Of course, there are a few tweaks, when you read between the lines on Facebook’s official blog post:
You may recall that last year we experimented with a complete redesign of News Feed for desktop and mobile. People who tested it told us that they liked the bigger photos and images, but found it more difficult to navigate Facebook overall. The updated design has the best of both worlds: it keeps the layout and navigation people liked, but offers bigger images and photos, as well as a new font. The current design on mobile remains the same.
Yes, Facebook, we completely believe that people overwhelmingly told you the one feature that makes ads bigger and more visible was totally something everyone was overjoyed about that. We believe this with absolutely no skepticism whatsoever.
It’s not a surprise that Facebook’s planned redesign was a flop. Essentially it was going to make the bits of your feed you actually care about on an equal footing with obnoxious advertising by putting everything in two columns. The redesign isn’t as confusing as it sounds on paper, but if you’ve seen it in action, you probably heard the word “obnoxious” a lot. There’s a reason: It was designed to make life easier for Facebook, not its users.
True, this won’t fix every single problem on the site. But it is nice to see that occasionally Facebook cares what its customers think. This won’t stop that one “designer” you know from whining about the shade of grey they use in the background, but that’s why Facebook has a blocking feature.