Publishers, beware: A nightmare situation on Facebook may soon be a reality. As part of a test in six nations, Facebook is removing content from publishers and organizations out of its main news feed. Rather, these posts will now exist in a different, hidden feed that Facebook recent launched for finding new stuff, called the “Explore Feed.”
The idea behind the Explore Feed is to present users with posts from individuals or publishers they don’t follow, with the goal being that they’ll discover new stuff they wouldn’t generally see. In a few nations, however, the company is also testing putting all publishers’ content in this optional feed, regardless of whether you do follow those publishers. Facebook says it wants to give its users two feeds: one with stuff from their loved ones and the other with content from organizations and publishers.
“With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful,” Facebook said in a statement. “People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages. To understand if people like these two different spaces, we will test a few things, such as how people engage with videos and other types of posts. These tests will start in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia. We have no current plans to roll this out globally.”
This change has not proven to be great for publishers. Over the past couple days, the connections on posts by the 60 biggest Slovakian Facebook Pages fell drastically. A columnist wrote in a Medium article that natural reach for distributers fell by “66 percent” after Facebook moved posts to the Explore Feed.