Facebook is testing two separate News Feeds: The regular feed minus publishers’ posts and an Explore Feed which would feature posts from Pages.
Although Facebook has said it is only testing the new versions in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia, news of the test had Page owners feeling decidedly nervous this week. That anxiety is made worse by the fact that The Guardian is reporting some Pages affected by the test received four times less engagement. For instance, pages in Slovakia lost two-thirds to three-fourths of their reach.
Facebook vice-president of News Feed Adam Mosseri has said, however, that the social network currently has “no plans to roll this test out further.”
“We always listen to our community about ways we might improve News Feed. People tell us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family. We are testing having one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends and family, and another separate space, called Explore, with posts from pages,” Mosseri said in a blog post.
“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. There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore. Unfortunately, some have mistakenly made that interpretation — but that was not our intention.”
Facebook officially launched Explore last week as a place for popular articles, videos and photos that are automatically customized for each user. Explore includes content from pages that the social network’s algorithm guesses each individual user will like, while posts from pages that users like or follow will continue to appear in News Feed.