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Facebook tests removing news from main users' feed

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Facebook tests removing news from main users' feed

Present for a while in the Facebook app, the Explore Feed was recently rolled out to desktop. It is intended as a space where users can find content from publishers they have not subscribed to, but would likely interest them based on the profiling of their Facebook activity. 
 
The trial carried out in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia sees content from all publishers limited to Explore Feed, with only “friends” posts - and possibly ads - in the News Feed. According to some comments, the final aim is to extort money from  publishers ready to pay in order to get back where the Facebook users spend most of their time on the social network. 
 
Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook, explained that the experiment is not intended towards the development of a new product to deliver globally. He added that at the time there is no plan to "charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore”. He concluded that the trial merely tries to establish whether users would prefer seeing exclusively their friend's posts in their feed. 
 
In the test countries, publications have reported a drop in engagement with Facebook pages in excess of 60% since the trial started. According to the Guardian, the change does not seem to affect paid posts. 
 
Explore Feed was extended to Facebook desktop version last week, but it is safe to say that most of the public is probably unaware of the new feature: it took me three clicks on “see more” in the “explore” section on the left hand side of my desktop version of Facebook to find Explore Feed, and I clicked that many times only because I was specifically looking for it.  

Author

Elena Perotti's picture

Elena Perotti

Date

2017-10-26 19:21

Author information

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