Facebook dark mode is a new look for the social network that replaces its usual bright, white interface with black and shades of gray. It’s a small change, but an important one.
We’ve been waiting months for Facebook dark mode, but finally the social network’s new look is starting to arrive on phones and desktops, giving you a smarter, more stylish way to browse through your news feed.
Dark mode isn’t just about looks, though. While the jury is out on whether cutting down on blue light actually helps you sleep better at night, a darker interface certainly reduces glare when you’re using the app after dark, making for a more comfortable social experience.
There’s a potential benefit for your phone’s battery, too. Researchers from Google have found that pixel color has a direct effect on power draw, with black pixels using significantly less energy than white ones. This is particularly true for devices with AMOLED screens, where pure black pixels are actually switched off. Swapping Facebook’s bright, white interface to something darker could therefore help your mobile devices last noticeably longer between chargers.
With that in mind, here’s how to experience the dark side of Facebook on desktop and mobile devices.
Facebook dark mode for desktop
Facebook has started rolling out a new design for its desktop site, which includes an optional dark mode. It began with a handful of beta testers, and has gradually started adding more users to the group to put the new look through its paces.
If you’re part of the testing group, next time you visit Facebook on desktop you’ll see a notification informing you, followed by a prompt asking you to choose between light and dark designs.
If you’re not part of the group, don’t worry – the option is likely to be available worldwide soon, but in the meantime you can use Google Chrome to ‘force’ dark mode on Facebook. This doesn’t look exactly the same as the official dark mode will, but it’s not too far off.
First make sure you have the latest version of Chrome. If you’re not sure, open the main menu, select ‘Help’ and then ‘About Google Chrome’, and the browser will find and install any available updates automatically.
Now visit chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark in the address bar, and change the first drop-down box you see from ‘Default’ to ‘Enabled’. You’ll be prompted to re-launch the browser, so make sure you save any work first.
When Chrome re-opens, you’ll find that every site you visit, including Facebook, now has inverted colors where appropriate. It’s not yet perfect (sometimes white parts of images are turned black incorrectly), but it works quite well overall.
To change back, simply return to chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark and change the setting back to ‘Default’.
Facebook dark mode for iOS and Android
Facebook is also testing a new design for Android, which also offers a dark mode option. Again, this feature is currently available to a group of testers chosen seemingly at random.
Facebook’s mobile dark mode still seems to be very much a work in progress, and some users who’ve managed to catch a sneak peek at it have reported that it seems to be unfinished, switching between dark and light modes seemingly at random.
There’s no sign yet of dark mode for iOS, but we’d be surprised if it’s far behind, as the two mobile apps share a lot of the same assets.
Facebook is working on Dark Mode for mobileI wrote a blog about this: https://t.co/X5tAZuIlPzTip @Techmeme pic.twitter.com/w3vYpRgxUYAugust 12, 2019
For the time being, you can experience the dark side on your phone or tablet using Google Chrome: type chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark into the address bar and change the flags ‘Android web contents dark mode’ and ‘Android Chrome UI dark mode’ to ‘Enabled’. Once that’s done, log into Facebook via Chrome and enjoy the new look.
Dark mode is already available in Facebook Messenger. To activate it, simply tap your profile picture, then tap the ‘Dark mode’ switch.
We anticipate a full Facebook dark mode for iOS, iPadOS and Android will arrive soon, and we’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more. We’ve already seen the arrival of Instagram dark mode, and WhatsApp dark mode is now in beta testing, so we expect it won’t be long.