Monday, March 11, 2019

Facebook rebrands to make its ‘monopoly’ more obvious across apps

Facebook has a new look designed to differentiate Facebook-the-company from Facebook-the-network while simultaneously making its ownership of other apps more obvious. On Monday, November 4, Facebook unveiled a new logo that will be used on the company’s lists of different apps. The update follows an investigation into Facebook-the-company’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp as a potential monopoly.

The new Facebook-the-company logo uses a simple, sans serif, all-caps font. When space is limited, the logo simply becomes FB. Rather than that iconic blue, the new logo is a chameleon — adapting the pink, yellow, and purple gradient from the Instagram icon in that app and a solid green inside WhatsApp. The all-caps look is designed to distinguish the logo of Facebook-the-company from the familiar lower case logo of Facebook-the-network. The familiar logo will remain in use on the network, but will no longer represent the company as a whole.

In some cases, that new logo will be animated, which the company says is designed to represent the creation “of space for people and their stories.”

“This is the next step in our effort to be clearer about the products and services from Facebook,” the company shared in a blog post. “The new company branding is designed to help us better represent the diversity of products we build, establish distinction from the Facebook app, and communicate our purpose in the world.”

Facebook says the new logo was created with input from employees, users, and advertisers, and by working with designers from across the company to develop the simple new look.

The update comes after Facebook-the-company began inserting its name into its family of apps, a change designed to make sure users understand that sharing on apps like Instagram and WhatsApp also means sharing data with Facebook. The “Instagram from Facebook” notation on the sign-in page of the Instagram app, for example, will now include the new logo instead of a simple text annotation.

Facebook’s family of apps includes Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Calibra, among other sub-apps like IGTV and Threads. A bipartisan group, however, is currently investigating Facebook-the-company for antitrust violations, digging into whether or not the company violated laws and stifled competition by purchasing Instagram and WhatsApp. While the two apps have been part of the company for years, the logo update attempts to ensure users understand that those apps are owned by the same company being criticized over mishandling user data and playing unwitting host to a political misinformation campaign.

Facebook-the-company will start using the new branding today, integrating the new look into all products over the next few weeks. Facebook-the-network will keep the same lowercase logo.

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