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Is Facebook Separating the News Feed?

Say goodbye to Facebook organic reach and hello to permanent paid reach?

Facebook is currently testing its BIGGEST potential algorithm change to date. In honor of Halloween, we thought we’d share how this potential change is causing a scare in the digital marketing world. As of 2017, Facebook has been testing a revolutionary idea that will potentially change how information is distributed on users’ Facebook feeds and will cause major organic reach complications. 

This test is the division of Facebook’s news feed into two, separate feeds: One feed focused on posts from friends and family, and the other, called Explore, with posts from promoted pages and from pages users have liked.

There are a lot of predictions and inaccurate information online over this potential change. This post is aimed to help answer questions you may have about this possible update and explain how it’ll affect you and your business.

Where is the updated Facebook news feed being tested at?

The test countries are in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. If you are not residing in these countries, you are not apart of the test and currently have a different version of Explore. 

What is Facebook’s goal for its test?

The goal of the test is to see if it’s worth implementing on a larger scale and/or if the idea is worth pursuing. Adam Mosseri, Head of Facebook News Feed, explains the idea behind this test is to see if people prefer two separate feeds. He reiterates on a Twitter conversation the test is not to get more publishers to pay for distribution.

Why are there two different Facebook news feeds?

Facebook’s goal with this experiment is to understand if its users prefer to have separate feeds for personal and public content. In a statement, Mosseri explains Facebook has been receiving feedback from its users of them wanting an easier way to see posts from friends and family. Facebook believes multiple feeds create more places to hold users’ attention and if they create two separate spaces, they can give users the separation of content they want. Mosseri adds, “We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to discover relevant content from pages they haven’t connected with yet. Once Facebook gets feedback, they will determine whether or not the idea is worth pursuing.

What will be featured on the Explore Feed?

One of the two separate feeds is called “Explore.” Its purpose is to show user’s posts from people or publishers they don’t follow, in the hope that they’ll find new content they wouldn’t otherwise see. In other words, it’s basically a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos automatically customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them. In our opinion, it sounds a lot like the Instagram’s Explore page.

Who needs to worry about this potential change?

Everyone who has a personal and/or business Facebook account should be concerned because their content consumption will be organized differently. However, the most people concerned about this potential change is ESPECIALLY business owners/marketers who rely heavily on organic facebook advertising. If this update is implemented, it’s predicted businesses will potentially have to pay to have their posts featured on the Explore Feed. 

Will it be implemented?

The division of the Facebook feed is predicted to roll sometime during 2018 if Facebook wants to pursue the idea after its testing. However, things can change because Mosseri says, depending on what they learn in the testing, more tests could be coming. Facebook’s goal is to always better understand what works best for people and publishers. Unlike what other articles have claimed, the division of the Facebook feed is not set in stone.

 

Takeaways

  • A change to Facebook’s news feed is currently being tested. There are no plans for this to be officially implemented yet
  • Facebook business pages will potentially have to pay to feature their content on the Explore feed if implemented
  • The newsfeed change is aimed to improve usability and is based on recommendations from users
  • More tests are predicted to come

 

What do you think?

What do you think about this potential change? Do you like it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments section below!