Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s New “Explore Feed”
Facebook just launched a brand new feature, a news feed that pulls content from pages you don’t follow, Events, Groups and more. If you are a Facebook user you may not have noticed the change, as you need to directly access the feed from the navigation bar, but if you are a Facebook marketer you may have noticed this feature have a negative effect on your analytics.
This Medium article outlines how some marketers are seeing drastic changes in interactions and organic reach because of the testing of the Explore Feed. But what is the point of having two feeds? Here’s what Facebook had to say:
“With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful. 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.”
Whether the issues being reported by page admins will continue remains to be seen, but one thing that is for sure, marketers should all be looking out for changes to their metrics that are outside their normal range.
The largest issue with the introduction of this new feed for marketers is the panic of needing a “pay to play” strategy so that your page’s posts will end up in a user’s news feed, and not just the Explore feed. An article by Recode outlines why publishers should be wary of the update, especially in a time where so much of social media marketing for small businesses is done by word of mouth, the extra ad spend for many just isn’t feasible.
As far as from a user’s perspective, the content sourced for each individual is supposed to be curated specifically for the users recorded interests and fit in with the content the user already wants to see when they decide to like or subscribe to a page. This article by Quartz Media lists what members of their staff found when they looked at their individual Explore Feeds, and truth be told, they weren’t impressed.
If you want to see for yourself, Explore Feed is live on mobile and desktop now for some Facebook users.