Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook Inc’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
Facebook will roll out the biggest change to its app in the past five years on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the company’s F8 Developer Conference.
The new version of the app marks an early step toward Zuckerberg’s new privacy and messaging focused vision for the platform. “FB5” marks the fifth “major version” of the app, Zuckerberg said, which will emphasize groups and community to a greater extent than the previous designs.
“It has a much bigger focus on communities and making communities as central as friends,” Zuckerberg said, highlighting the app’s simpler design. “The app isn’t even blue anymore,” he said, chuckling, adding that Facebook’s icon will be modernized as well.
As the app shifts to focus on groups, Zuckerberg said the company will take measures to ensure that it is not recommending users to join groups made for the purpose of spreading misinformation, a problem for which Facebook has been criticized intensely over the past year. At the beginning of the conference, Zuckerberg acknowledged, “I get that a lot of people aren’t sure that we’re serious about this,” referencing his new privacy-focused strategy in light of its recent scandals.
The new version will roll out in the U.S. on Tuesday and will continue to roll out around the world in the coming weeks. Facebook is also working on a new version of its desktop website, which Zuckerberg said is coming later this year.
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