Earlier last week Facebook rolled out Explore Feed, an alternative News Feed where you will be able to discover new content similar to what you are already following or engaging with in the platform.
Explore Feed, which is available on both mobile and desktop, will be consisted of posts, articles, videos and photos of from Pages that you might find interesting. With this feature Facebook helps users discover new content which may lead them to spending more time viewing it, thus, more time on the platform.
For the past three months, Facebook has redesigned its user interface to make it more friendly, fighting off the platform fake videos and fake news and even favoring fast-loading content. All these improvements, including the introduction of Explore Feed attest to the very fact that they want their users to have the best experience possible and subsequently spend more time on their platform.
And then there were two
Although Facebook has just rolled out Explore Feed globally, it is currently testing a variation of it where it has removed posts from Pages and moved it over to another feed. This means that the main News Feed contains posts from friends and family and Explore Feed only contains Posts from the Pages you follow. This “new” variation is currently being tested in Sri Lanka. Bolivia. Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.
What could this mean for marketers and Page Owners
With the Explore Feed out and the testing with the 6 countries takes place, speculations on what Explore Feed will mean to Page owners and advertisers started to form.
The Explore Feed could potentially mean that Page owners will experience a dramatic drop in their reach. This could mean that if they want their posts to be seen they need to find a way to their readers News Feed. Obviously, the path to their fans News Feed is paved with money; the money you need to spend to promote your posts to your audience.
On the other hand Explore Feed provides Facebook with something that has been lacking. Advertising space! Potentially, advertisers would reach people there as well.
What Facebook says
With all the commotion taking place over the past few days, Facebook came out to officially address the situation. In a blog post written by Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, he addressed the community and clarified that contrary to popular belief “We currently have no plans to roll this test out further”. The new Explore feed is a test inspired by the community’s request for “an easier way to see posts from friends and family”. Mosseri said that “the goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further”.
For the time being, we can only wait for the findings of their experiment. As Mosseri concludes on the blog post, “we may learn new things that lead to additional tests in the coming months so we can better understand what works best for people and publishers”.