Facebook has been making small and subtle, and some not so subtle changes to their icons and images.
The Facebook Logo: It’s been noted that Facebook has made small changes to its logo by changing the font, noticed mostly in the new style of the letter-A, which is now a regular lower case letter-A that no longer has an overhang or roof on the top part of the letter-A. They’ve also made a few other subtle changes to other icons.
The Friends and Groups Icon: One of the latest changes is giving equal standing to the female image represented in the ‘Friends and Groups’ icon. The original image showed the female figure in the back of the group, now she is standing side by side with the male icon in terms of height and stature, but both of her shoulders are shown as if to imply she is slightly in front of him, but equal to him. The male image is also wearing a noticeable dress shirt in the image and his hair is combed down. In the original, he had spiked hair.
Encouraging Women to Lean In: With strong women in top roles at Facebook like Sheryl Sandberg, their COO, it says a lot for women’s rights and equality that they want to make this small and subtle change that speaks volumes. As Caitlin Winner, Facebook’s design manager points out, “She (the woman the image represents) was not in a position to lean in,” which references Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In about empowering women in business.
The Group Icon Change: In the group icon, the female image was behind two men and she now stands in front of them. Other small changes include the male image with the spiked hair has been replaced with a flatter hairstyle. Additionally, the female icon had a tiny spot or chip that was noted on her shoulder and this has been removed.
As Facebook continues to make changes in management and introduce top talent, one can only speculate that it’s the powerful female leaders who are helping to promote these changes. While one can speculate that the old icons with images of women in the back were just an oversight, now it is shown as intentional that strong women are paving the way.
Schroeder, Stan, Mashable: Facebook Makes Men and Women Equal in New Friends Icon, July 8, 2015, http://mashable.com/2015/07/08/facebook-icon-man-woman/