Facebook is testing out a fresh revamp of its UI on the Facebook for Android app, and a beta build of it has been rolled out to select users worldwide. The interface features a new flat design, utilizing swipe gestures to navigate between your timeline, messages and notifications.
The new UI features a cleaner, flat design. The three main action buttons, namely the Status, Photo and Check In buttons have all been relocated to the bottom of the frame. In their place are the buttons usually situated at the top of the app, which are the Notifications, Messages and Friend Requests. Facebook has then bundled in the News Feed as a fourth navigational button, while the Menu button has also been relocated to the rightmost button.
What’s new here isn’t only with the relocation of navigational buttons, but the UI now supports swipe gestures, allowing you to easily navigate between your news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications and the menu. These swipe gesture support makes it more in line with the Android UI, and makes navigating on the app a lot more seamless than before.
Of course, as with all revamps, the new UI does take some getting used to. It is a little confusing at first, but after several minutes you’ll find that the all the functions from the old app remains, but just need to be accessed in a different place within the app.
One thing many will surely not like is with the News Feed: you can’t configure it to show either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent” anymore. The News Feed tab will always show the “Top Stories” based on Facebook’s algorithms and ads, but to access the “Most Recent” posts, you’ll have to navigate to the Menu on the right, scroll all the way down to “Feeds”, and tap on “Most Recent”. It’s definitely annoying, and we certainly hope that Facebook’s developers can find a way for users to easily switch between the two News Feed options.
For now though, the app is still in beta stage, and was rolled out to those who signed up for a closed group of anonymous Facebook testers late last month. Nevertheless, as this is still an beta build (which is very stable, to be honest), there may be changes to the UI as it enters its final stages of testing and finally rolled out to the public.