The new look of WhatsApp leans into the green

It’s been a rocky few months in the tech world. Following the post-pandemic boom, stock prices for Amazon, Alphabet and Apple fell sharply this week after releasing disappointing financial results. Last month, Google’s parent company also cut 12,000 jobs and Amazon made 18,000 layoffs.

Despite better-than-expected results, Meta wasn’t immune to the bleak picture after being forced to lay off 11,000 employees late last year.

After the controversial launch of the Meta brand in 2021 and a new look for Instagram last year, Facebook’s parent company has now turned its attention to WhatsApp, the private messaging app it acquired in 2014 for $19 billion.

Having largely avoided scandal and criticism of the family of companies, WhatsApp’s new look appears to be an attempt to set it apart from the rest of the tech pack.

“WhatsApp is not a social media tool. It’s a safe, intimate product designed to empower anyone — anywhere, in the world — to connect and create change,” says Koto, the studio behind its new universal design system.

Shortly after Koto’s much-discussed lightning-inspired branding for checkout platform Bolt, the studio’s new look for WhatsApp seeks to deepen the connection between its product experience and its marketing.

Driven by the thought “Forward. Together,” the design system builds on the messaging app’s reputation as a secure and robust communication tool for its two billion users by exploring the brand’s “emotional landscape,” explains Koto.

The studio developed a diverse color palette that allows different touches of the brand to be expressed across different touchpoints, from building equity in WhatsApp green to moments inspired by dark mode settings.

Graphics modules for messaging and content capture the WhatsApp experience and become building blocks for a wide range of storytelling inspired by the visual back and forth of communication.

The design system aims to emphasize what people around the world love about the app: its “simplicity, flexibility, and universality,” says Koto. “By connecting a global audience both visually and verbally, this system represents the core of the WhatsApp experience: communicating effortlessly – regardless of age, location, accessibility, bandwidth or literacy.”

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