Facebook ends its experiment with the alternative 'explore' news feed

Facebook ends its experiment with the alternative 'explore' news feed
From TechCrunch - March 1, 2018

Facebook is ending its short-lived (and misguided) experiment with the alternative news feed feature called Explore.

In a blog post today, Facebook head of news feed Adam Mosseri wrote:

We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changeslike Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs work well and go on to become globally available. Others dont and we drop them. Today, were ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed.

The Explore Feed was a trial response to consistent feedback we received from people over the past year who said they want to see more from friends and family in News Feed. The idea was to create a version of Facebook with two different News Feeds: one as a dedicated place with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated place for posts from Pages.

Whatever the intention, the response from Facebook users was decidedly meh. The split news feed rolled out in six countries as a trial bubble, and it sunk like a lead balloon.

As Mosseri wrote, You gave us our answer: People dont want two separate feeds. In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didnt actually help them connect more with friends and family.

The product formally launched last October as an option for U.S. users to find additional news and entertainment from Pages that arent in a users news feed.

As we wrote at the time:

The overall goal, of course, is to increase users time-on-site (or time-in-app, if on mobile). This allows Facebook to serve more ads in between the content, in videos and elsewhere. Effectively, its a second-tier News Feed that Facebook could monetize.


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