Last week Facebook Messenger users discovered that there was an Easter egg hidden within the app.
Sending the crescent moon emoji to another user (or yourself, if you’re sad like me) toggled an option to activate the long-awaited ‘Dark Mode’. Although it’s a hidden feature at the present time, it will be be rolling out properly over the next few weeks.
There’s just one problem. It’s a bit shit.
The raining moons when you unlock the Easter Egg is admittedly quite cute
The concept of dark mode isn’t a new one. There are hundreds of apps and websites that have the option, including Reddit, Twitter and OSX. Slack even introduced a beta version last week.
One of the most compelling arguments for dark mode is that it’s easier on the eyes. Nobody likes being blinded by a bright background in the middle of the night.
Twitter has done a particularly nice job of it by flirting with varying shades of navy. Reddit also isn’t bad, showcasing different types of grey text and blue links against a black backdrop.
The screenshots don’t do the different shades justice, but they’re definitely there when you take a looksie on your phone
And then there’s Facebook.
Rather than utilising different colours and shades, it is rocking a vibe as dark as my cold, dead heart. And while I appreciate the extremely metal sentiment, the extreme black and white contrast is a bit much. It makes it difficult to tell which chats have unread messages in them.
In Dark Mode, the bolded text that is synonymous with unseen messages is a lot harder to distinguish from threads that have already been read. It became so irritating and inconvenient that I barely made it a day before switching back to Light Mode.
The contrast is far more stark when sections aren’t blurred out for the sake of privacy
It’s worth acknowledging that this could be a ‘me’ problem. Maybe you’ll have zero issues. Maybe you’ll love it. Maybe you’ll wonder what I’m complaining about. You’re 22, I get it.
But the lack of nuance with the colour palette is something my eyes just can’t comfortably deal with.
Considering the abundance of Dark Modes that have come before this, and did it well, it’s a tad surprising that Facebook didn’t seem to take note.
But perhaps if I’m not the only ‘old lady yelling at cloud’ over this some more eye-friendly changes can be made before the official roll out.
Until then, I’ll keep on keeping on with that bright white screen-glow.
For those of us attached to our phones or laptops during all hours of the day, Dark Mode offers a welcome alternative to the searing whiteness that usually greets our eyeballs. It’s the default pretty much everywhere: from documents to search engines and everywhere in between, including Slack.Read more