We tend to think of website designing as a static thing – things that remain unchanged while other products are developed further and go through several iterations. But the opposite is the true because websites can change their appearance all the time- sometimes in a huge revamp and sometimes in ways that are subtle and understated that are not evident even at a glance.
Earlier this in March, a number of Facebook users noticed a difference in their font while typing comments and status updates. Take a closer look at your Facebook account and you might notice a few subtle changes in the shape of the font. Based on a scattering of tweets, Facebook appears to be testing out new fonts across its platform. And like Geneva- the font that the social media juggernaut began experimenting with last year- the new fonts being used now are not a Facebook creation. So what does this mean? If speculation across Twitter is accurate, the broader implications are that the company is now playing with having fonts that are default to users’ system fonts.
So if you are on Windows, you might see the font change to Segoe UI and if you are using Mac, your status updates, comments and messages will be in San Francisco. These are all variations on Sans-Serif font, but the differences mean that browsers on the site feel more native to the font used as a user’s own computer’s default font.
A thread on Designer News shed light that this has been on the cards for some time now and judging by the increase of tweets regarding the update, it looks like Facebook is expanding the change to more of its users.
One explanation regarding the font update could be that Facebook is trying to make the site feel more native on a user’s computer. In other words- by keeping the font on Facebook the same as the one on your computer, the social media giant could possibly feel a bit more at ease because it could mean that users stay a little bit longer because of the familiarity. This is, of course, a speculation.