Facebook ends Explore news feed experiment after negative feedback

The month-long experiment was designed to help Facebook understand if people might like using two separate feeds on the platform or not.

By Samden Sherpa

    Facebook has now announced that it is ending its month-long experiment with the alternative News Feed feature, Explore, that was started in October 2017 in six countries to understand if people might like two separate feeds in Facebook.

    Facebook ends Explore news feed experiment after negative feedback

    "We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes-like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs- work well and go on to become globally available. Others don't and we drop them. Today, we're ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed," the company has said it its blog post.

    The Explore Feed was a trial response to the consistent feedback that Facebook 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.

    And after the testing which lasted for six long months, the company is of the opinion that the feature is not beneficial for the users. "People don't want two separate feeds. In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn't actually help them connect more with friends and family," the company has said.

    "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," the company added.

    From the feedback that the company has received, it looks like the feature made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and Facebook hadn't communicated the test clearly as well. Facebook has also stated that it is acting on this feedback by updating the way the company evaluates where to test new products, and how to communicate with them.

    Separately, the social media giant is also discontinuing the Explore Feed bookmark globally this week. Explore gave people a new feed of content to discover Pages and public figures they hadn't previously followed. The company has concluded that Explore isn't an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook.

    "We're always looking to help people connect with the people and information that matter most to them. Both of these tests provided us with valuable feedback that we will use to improve News Feed for everyone," the company has said.

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