A year ago, at Facebook's F8 developer conference, the company announced a major redesign of its desktop web experience. The new version of the application is the largest change since the update that moved the Facebook logo on the header and introduced the righthand panel years ago. A quick glance will make it clear that the new web experience is based on the mobile experience, with the site's content being broken into top-level content categories, each with its own tab across the top. These include the Feed, Videos (Watch), Marketplace, Groups, etc.
While a small group of users has had access to the new design for a little while, the majority of users have not had access to the new features. That changed this week, as the company has begun rolling out the new interface to a larger group of users. Some had it forced upon them, while others have the option to enable it manually. Either way, it appears that users will have the ability to swap back to the current interface - at least for a while.
This change is coming at a time when the web experience is being used more than usual, with more people working from home and using a computer during their day. With a captive audience, the company seems to have decided that it was a great tie to swap to the new experience. While this might be a strange choice for those who use the desktop experience on a regular basis as we do here in the office, it actually makes a lot of sense for those who are used to mobile. Having a more familiar look and feel to the desktop application could encourage people to use the web application more.
Of course, not everyone has been invited to test the application. Our team is mixed, with some seeing the option to change. If you are interested in trying out the new interface, check under the user menu (top-right corner) and look for "See New Facebook" under the Settings option.