Facebook has now officially received its dark mode facelift but the change is only applicable to the desktop site. Announced last year, dark mode is reported as just one of a few updates arriving for the web app but it's almost certainly the most sought-after. As its branding entails, the feature takes the standard white design of the app and paints it in hues of black and gray.
The change should be easier on the eyes of users in general but more pertinently in dark environments. Aside from helping ease the glare of bright whites in a dark room, it should also be invaluable to users who have medical reasons for needing a darker theme.
To turn on the feature, users will first need to activate the new overall redesign. The option for dark mode is found only in the new theme. Turning that on requires users to navigate to Settings and then to the "See New Facebook" option. Disabling it requires a simple click on the "Switch to Classic Facebook" option. Then, dark mode is found in the Settings drop-down menu as a toggle switch.
Other UI changes present with the redesign don't require the dark mode
The most noticeable change to desktop Facebook, aside from dark mode, is its similarity to the mobile app. The right and left columns of the UI are virtually unchanged. On those fronts, the biggest alteration there is the use of dividing bars instead of card-like interfaces. That's a small change but it makes an enormous difference in terms of aesthetics.
Now, the right and left-hand columns are easier to read, making better use of white — or black — space. Top items in each segment are shown, with buttons for expanding to show further options where applicable. So it doesn't feel nearly as overcrowded as the previous design.
On the top panel, the search bar has been shortened down to fit within the confines of the left-hand column. Profile, Home, and other links on the right-hand side have been mostly placed behind icons and shortened to fit in that column.
That leaves the biggest change, which is the center columns similarity to the mobile app. At the top, users will now see icons for Home, Watch, Groups, and other frequently used Facebook services. Just below that, Facebook embeds its Stories cards, followed by the status update bar, and then the feed.
Why hasn't this hit the Facebook Android app yet?
Interestingly, although Facebook's dark mode has hit mobile users in the "Lite" variant of the app, the desktop dark mode has arrived ahead of the feature for its primary mobile application. That's in spite of the fact that most of Facebook's traffic is undoubtedly happening on mobile. And it's in spite of the fact that dark mode is not only among the most sought-after features. It's also been officially in the works since late last year.
That should mean that dark mode will arrive in-app soon enough. But it also means that Facebook will effectively be the last of the company's apps to receive it.