Facebook’s latest feature is called “Explore feed”. It is basically an alternative to the news feed you know and have grown used to. Its goal is to diversify the sources of information available to users and show them materials they will be interested in. Of course, another reason for Facebook presenting this option is that the social media network would also like everyone to spend more time on it.
Content shown in the Explore feed ranges from posts and photos to videos and articles, but it is worth mentioning that you will not see any posts from friends and pages you follow available. However, it should — in theory — be influenced by your previous likes and shares as well as the content your friends are engaging with.
A Facebook representative gave a comment to TechCrunch on the launch of the new feature: “We are beginning to roll out a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, automatically customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them, (…) We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven’t connected with yet”.
Opportunities and risks?
The new feature could also work well for brands, giving them additional methods of presenting their content to a well targeted audience. More time spent on Facebook by users also means a higher chance of them seeing content prepared by brands. It should also be mentioned, though, that ads seem to be absent from the Explore feed for the time being.
At the same time, an interesting piece of news related to Facebook’s new feature surfaced on Medium. One writer has noted that Explore feeds have been rolled out in a different way in several countries. For users in Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Cambodia and Guatemala, all posts published by pages are apparently being moved to Explore feeds. This means that the main news feed of users is populated only by content from friends… and sponsored posts.
Reports are coming in about organic reach dropping by even two-thirds, with four times fewer interactions for many pages in some of the above mentioned countries. It seems this is a small scale, alternative test of how the Explore feed could work, but it will be interesting to see if and how Facebook will move forward with its new idea.
Where to find Explore feed?
Explore feed is currently undergoing a global rollout. But the feature still might not be available for everyone. Here’s how to check if you can access it:
– On a desktop or laptop, look to the sidebar on the left side of Facebook’s page. A rocket icon should be visible in the “Explore” menu, although you might have to expand the list.
– On a mobile device, simply click the “more” menu icon in the Facebook app. The Explore feed’s rocket icon should now be visible among your “Favourites”.
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