leadership dot #2368: something blue

I wonder why Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have essentially the same on-screen look. Their purpose and audiences are quite different, yet when looking at a screen on a mobile device it is hard to tell which platform you are viewing – thus, it takes a moment to consider an appropriate reply. Facebook is a circle of my friends and far more casual – I am much more apt to like a political post on Facebook than I am on LinkedIn where I have business colleagues and a more public presence – yet it looks just the same as LinkedIn when scrolling through.

I am surprised that at least one of the three hasn’t branched out and created a new branding look for themselves. Would Facebook look some of its billions of followers if it switched from the generic “social media blue” to a more distinctive color? I doubt it, but it could set the platform apart I the minds of viewers, make it easier to trace a source of a forward or screenshot and just add some variety when scrolling.

When designing a look for your organization, don’t use these as role models. There is a whole spectrum of color available to you for branding – don’t choose one that is the same as two of your main rivals. Your goal is to stand out, not blur together.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.


  1. There are two reasons actually: one has to do with color theory because blue is shown to communicate trust (maybe why we’re okay sharing all our personal data with these companies) and white is the complimentary color because it communicates clarity. Second, blue light is easier on our eyes and encourages users to stay engaged on the sites longer so it’s good for apps who want us to keep coming back and stay a long time. I agree, it does make them hard to distinguish, though!


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