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CSS3 quickie: The Facebook loading animation

After the couple of jQuery Quickies that have been placed online on this website, I today present you a CSS3 quickie. Just a short walkthrough to create a simple effect, to learn some basic stuff. In this case, we're recreating the Facebook loading animation using CSS3 animations. I'm pretty sure that you've seen the animation before, if you're a Facebook user.

Facebook loading animation

We're using CSS3 keyframes to create the desired effect. We'll be using prefix free from @LeaVerou to use unprefixed CSS3 properties.

Demo Facebook loading animation   Download Facebook loading animation

Take note this example only works properly in browser that support the keyframes property. I've tested this script and verified that it's working in the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

The source

The source code for this animation is actually pretty simple. I've added comments to make things clear.


<!-- Facebook Loader -->
<div class="loader">
    <div class="bar"></div>
    <div class="bar"></div>
    <div class="bar"></div>
.loader { width:32px; height:32px; }
/* Initial state */
.bar {
    background-color:#99aaca; border:1px solid #96a6c9; float:left;
    margin-right:4px; margin-top:6px; width:6px; height:18px;
    /* Set the animation properties */
    animation-duration: 1s;
    animation-iteration-count: infinite;
    animation-name: loadingbar;
/* Delay both the second and third bar at the start */
.loader .bar:nth-child(2) { animation-delay: 0.1s; }
.loader .bar:nth-child(3) { animation-delay: 0.2s; }
/* The actual animation */
@keyframes loadingbar {
     0% { }
    10% { margin-top:5px; height:22px; border-color:#d1d8e6; background-color:#bac5db; }
    20% { margin-top:0px; height:32px; border-color:#d1d7e2; background-color:#c6ccda; }
    30% { margin-top:1px; height:30px; border-color:#d1d8e6; background-color:#bac5db; }
    40% { margin-top:3px; height:26px; }
    50% { margin-top:5px; height:22px; }
    60% { margin-top:6px; height:18px; }
    70% { }
    /* Missing frames will cause the extra delay */
    100% { }


That's all we need! Take note the example uses Prefix free to use unprefixed CSS3 properties, otherwise you would have added prefixes like -webkit-, -moz- etc.

Conclusion & Download

Although I can't find out the specific framerate/speed, I think this animation is pretty cool. Could you make it any better (example: Use less/no extra HTML elements, think about using pseudo elements)?

Demo Facebook loading animation   Download Facebook loading animation

I hope you learned a little bit more from this CSS3 quickie!

Tags:  facebook css3 animation keyframes simple

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