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New Facebook logo goes slim for your smartphone

The company has changed its iconic wordmark to reinforce the importance of mobile devices and to give the logo a more "approachable" feel.

Facebook's new logo (right) is lighter and more rounded.
Facebook's new logo (right) is lighter and more rounded. Facebook

Facebook has reimagined its logo. But you might need to squint to see the change.

In both an aesthetic and practical move, the social network has adjusted its familiar logo for the first time in a decade with some subtle differences: thinner lettering, a rounded "a," and more space around the letters.

Why do this? The answer is: mobile.

Since its 2004 founding in the Harvard dorm room of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has gone from scrappy startup to social-media giant to one of Silicon Valley's flagship tech powerhouses.

In that time, the company has been part of tectonic shifts in the industry, from the proliferation of photo sharing to the popularity of instant messaging. But perhaps most dramatic has been the explosion of smartphone sales, now estimated to total 1.4 billion shipments this year, according to researcher IDC. This shift has upended Silicon Valley, creating new multibillion-dollar startups while turning Apple, Google and Facebook into some of the world's largest companies.

More than 85 percent of the 1.44 billion people who log in to Facebook every month now do so from a mobile device, according to the company's April fillings. And of Facebook's $3.32 billion in revenue derived from advertising for its first quarter, the company said 73 percent came from ads shown on mobile devices. That figure was 59 percent a year ago.

Its users are on mobile, its advertisers are on mobile, and now Facebook's logo has joined the party.

Facebook said the slimmer model will not only be easier to read on mobile devices, but will also reflect the company's changing vision.

"When Facebook's logo was first created in 2005, the company was just getting started and we wanted the logo to feel grown up and to be taken seriously," Facebook Creative Director Josh Higgins said in a statement, describing the former strong, square typeface that's easy to read on desktop computers. "Now that we are established, we set out to modernize the logo to make it feel more friendly and approachable."

If the logo of yesteryear was a testament to the company's initial effort to establish itself, then logo 2.0 has much quieter ambitions. Arguably, it's less of a statement and more of a nod to new directions.

Facebook is updating its corporate logo, designed in collaboration by the in-house design team and Eric Olson of Process Type Foundry, throughout its offices. The "f" logo in the upper corner of Facebook's website -- known as the favicon -- will be unchanged.