Facebook announced it was ending a news feed test called the Explore Feed. The test allowed users to choose from two news feeds. One feed was dedicated to friends and family. The second feed was for public pages. Ending the test signals that Facebook is committed to the newly updated Facebook feed. That may be bad news for businesses and other organizations who have seen their traffic levels plummet with Facebook’s current news feed.
The test began in October 2017. It was designed to help Facebook members see more friends and family in their news feed. But member feedback indicated they were less satisfied with their feeds. The announcement was made by Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook News 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.”
What This Means for Businesses with Facebook Pages
This news confirms that Facebook is satisfied with the direction they are taking and will continue with the new algorithm. For businesses dependent on Facebook traffic this means understanding how Facebook’s new algorithm works and to implement changes to adapt.
Will Facebook’s New Algorithm Revert Back?
Facebook has a history continually refining their news feed. This new feed algorithm will probably continue to evolve. In fact, this focus on friends and family is a continuation of a news feed algorithm announced in 2016, that was intended to increase the visibility of news “posted by the friends you care about… higher up in your News Feed.”
So yes, it’s quite likely Facebook’s algorithm will continue to evolve. But no, it very likely will not revert back to the previous algorithm. So it’s fairly safe to assume that the old business model of relying on passive consumption of viral content for traffic has quite possibly come to an end. Passive consumption of content was named by Mark Zuckerberg himself as one of the things Facebook wanted to decrease in his January 2018 announcement:
“I announced a major change to encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption.”
According to Facebook’s latest announcement:
“We think our recent changes to News Feed that prioritize meaningful social interactions better address the feedback we heard from people who said they want to see more from friends and family. Those changes mean less public content in News Feed like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
Facebook’s official announcement can be read here.
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