Facebook obviously didn’t get the memo about all caps.
The social media juggernaut announced a rebranding today featuring a logo that looks trendy with a new font and, in a strange twist, it’s not exactly blue like it has been for eons. On the company news page, for example, it looks slightly gray.
If you download the press kit for the logo, the image is actually multi-colored (it plays in an animated loop). The times are indeed changing.
The most striking touch though is that the logo is in ALL CAPS. There’s a subtle implication there that maybe the company is not going to take it anymore — the political finger-pointing, the privacy concerns, the tampering, the trolls.
We’ll start seeing the new logo in all of their apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, as part of the Facebook Messenger client, and eventually on the main Facebook website. (For now, there’s still the familiar F logo which doesn’t seem to be changing.)
Corporate rebranding is usually the purview of marketing experts, graphics designers and usability experts, but when it comes to a colossal social media company like Facebook, it is telling. Why now? Why all caps? Why the multi-colored animations?
There are some obvious answers.
Now is the time for rebranding especially after a public drubbing last week at the hands of Congress. Mark Zuckerberg was not able to codify and summarize his answers to questions about how Facebook is responsible for spreading misinformation and fake news. There doesn’t seem to be a public policy regarding election interference or capturing private user information, so it makes sense that the company would instead create a new brand identity instead.
The rebranding comes during turbulent times.
A new logo, especially one in all caps, is not going to hide the fact that public perception for the brand is not exactly positive right now. I’ve talked to dozens of Facebook users in recent weeks who say they have already decided to stop posting and might eventually delete their accounts. We’re on the cusp of an election cycle where all social networks will be under heavy scrutiny.
Last week, Twitter even decided to suspend political ads. That move at least seems to carry some weight, even if it doesn’t really address the underlying issue of disseminating false information in other ways (such as normal campaign tweets).
Facebook is taking a different approach for now.
While there’s no direct change in how political ads can be posted or addressed, and there’s no new policies regarding abusive comments, and there doesn’t seem to be any actual tools for protecting user privacy, there is a new logo.
In all caps. And it’s multi-colored.
Hopefully, the rebranding leads to rethinking policies.