Facebook Decides You Don't Need Two News Feeds
It turns out, one of Facebookâs biggest News Feed experiments last year only made the service worse.
Last October, the Guardian reported that Facebook was testing significant changes to its News Feed. For users in six countries, Facebook moved nearly all non-promoted posts from pages and publishers out of the main News Feed into a secondary feed, called the Explore Feed. Predictably, people didnât want to have to bounce between two feeds, and in some countries the change appears to have had other, unintended consequences. Now Facebook says itâs ending the experiment.
âYou gave us our answer: People donât want two separate feeds,â Facebookâs News Feed head Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post. âIn surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didnât actual ly help them connect more with friends and family.â
The social network tested the Explore Feed in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.
Aside from the obvious annoyance of having to toggle between disjointed feeds, relegating posts from brands and news sources to a seemingly lesser location apparently further contributed to Facebookâs misinformation problem. According to a New York Times article from January, some users and publishers found that the Explore Feed test ended up âamplifying the impact of fabricated and sensational storiesâ in some countries. In areas where the feature was being tested, official accounts and non-governmental media sites were downgraded to the secondary feed unless they paid to promote their content in the main feed. This meant that users depended primarily on the credibility of the content shared by their friends and family.
âPeople usually donât share boring news with boring facts,â Filip Struharik, the social media editor of Slovakian news site DennÃk N, told the New York Times. The Slovakian site reportedly experienced a 30 percent decrease in user engagement on Facebook after Facebook implemented the Explore Feed.
For now, Facebook is reverting back to a singular feed, but the company is still doubling down on its effort to prioritize âmeaningfulâ interactions over other types of posts. âWe concluded that Explore isnât an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook,â Mosseri wrote. âWe 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.â But as we saw with the Explore Feedâs failure, âmeaningfulâ is not synonymous with credible.Source: Google News U S Technology | Netizen 24 United States