In addition to giving you way too much information about your family, friends, and that person you met at a social event but weren’t cool enough to exchange phone numbers with, Facebook has been quietly rolling out new features. The latest of these enhancements is the ability to add a colored background to your text-only posts. It follows a 2016 change to make personal, text-only posts more prominent, which could in theory allow them to stand out from paid advertisements and posts from media outlets.
Multiple outlets report the feature was originally in beta mode during the latter months of 2016 before gradually being rolled out during the weekend of April 1, 2017. Users with color posts already enabled will now get the prompt to select a background color once they begin writing a text-based post in the infamous “What’s on your mind?” box.
“We’re rolling out a change to help people make their text posts more visual,” an unnamed Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Starting today, people can update the background color of their text-only posts on Android.”
There may be a less altruistic reason for the explosion of color in your Facebook feed, and user feedback has been mixed.
i finally got the background color thing on facebook and its opening new avenues for doing irony pic.twitter.com/PNxGZlyDYA— rival cum partner (@TheLaLiLuLeLol) April 1, 2017
Oh my goodness, I finally have color for my post!! Good job Facebook!— Christina L.Turner (@ChristinaLTurnr) April 1, 2017
That color shit on Facebook makes me not wanna use it anymore— Ashley Cowart Smith (@Algeesprincess) April 1, 2017
“Facebook is desperately scrounging for ways to get users to create and post original content,” writes Damon Brees of Mashable. Add in Facebook’s 2016 issues with “fake news” and increasing competition from social media platforms such as Snapchat, and you can see more potential reasons for the tweaks.
Depending on whom you believe, this is either the first step towards Facebook becoming the glittery Hell that was MySpace, or Mark Zuckerberg and company’s latest attempt to gently prod users into producing and consuming more content that is not sourced from a paid publisher.
If your Facebook feed is enabled with the new color post feature, an option for selecting a color will automatically appear in the drop down menu of your status updates for text-based posts. If you're one of the users without the feature, Facebook will be enabling the enhancement within the coming days.