Facebook announced a new redesign Tuesday that will push more of its focus to groups as the app looks to regain the trust of consumers, CNET reports.
The social networking app, which has been plagued by privacy scandals in recent years, is making the move as part of its promise earlier this year to focus on its goal of connecting friends and family.
Facebook groups are essentially digital spaces where people who share a common interest can interact with one another via posts, conversations and requests for recommendations. The app has “tens of millions” of active groups ranging from professional interests to hobbies, CNET reports.
According to Bloomberg News, the new redesign of Facebook’s core app will show users what groups their friends have recently joined, as well “as a personalized feed of activity across all the groups people are part of in a special tab.”
“We’ve seen just a variety of these communities emerge and become really meaningful to people,” Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, was quoted by CNET as saying. “We are now really preaching communities as the center of the app in addition to friends and family.”
Among other changes to the app include the shedding of its signature blue background in favor of a white hue. The proposed redesign will roll out slowly over a series of phases, rather than all at once.
The shift towards groups and the aesthetic changes are all part of a larger overhaul that is Facebook’s first major change in several years. The app has seen a decline in users over recent years and has come under fire over accusations from federal authorities that it helped to perpetuate the “fake news” phenomenon.
“It has a much bigger focus on communities and making communities as central as friends,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the F8 Developers conference, where the changes were outlined.
“We don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now,” Zuckerberg added. “We need to change the way we’re running the company today.”
Other upgrades to the app include improvements in Messenger, Marketplace, as well as a “Meet New Friends” feature and Facebook Dating.