Right now, when we open Facebook, we see one feed with a mix between those nonsense posts by our moms, inspiring quotes from pages we don’t even remember liking, photos from that super party half of your Facebook friends went to last weekend and posts by numerous brands showing their new product, their new promotion, their new contest.
Well, in the future, this mix might stop existing. Facebook is testing the possibility of having two different feeds: one for family and friends – News Feed – and another one for pages – Explore Feed. These tests are happening in Bolivia, Guatemala, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Serbia; and, according to the announcement that Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed, made yesterday to clarify all the discussion that was happening on this topic, there’s still months to go with testing and, right now, there’s no intention of actually launching this update.
However, we can start analyzing what this update could mean for pages. There’s nothing like being prepared for any possibility. 🙂
Why having a News Feed and an Explore Feed?
According to Adam Mosseri, the idea of splitting the feed this way emerged from the users’ feedback, who constantly asked for an easier way to see their family and friends’ posts; it’s an attempt to offer a better experience and to highlight content that is actually interesting to the users. This update would, of course, have implications for pages, that would end up taking a back seat.
Consequences on Facebook’s interactions and organic reach
So far the results shared by the social media tracking tool, CrowdTangle, showed a decrease in interactions, in Slovakia (where 60 big pages had 4 times fewer likes, comments and shares), in Guatemala and Cambodia. Pages also saw their organic reach (a KPI that has been in decline for a while now), with the numbers on the past Thursday and Friday showing a decrease of two-thirds comparing to the previous day.
The Facebook traffic to the biggest Slovak media websites wasn’t that much affected by the creation of the Explore Feed; however, when it comes to smaller sites that don’t have such a big and loyal audience, this traffic has already started to show a decrease.
Anyway, if these results stay the same throughout the test period, pages might start feeling the need to make bigger investments on ads, to avoid losing visibility.
Of course, there’s probably still rough edges to polish up and, considering the tests will still prolong for months, future results might be different from today’s results.
Right now nothing is official, so we can only wait to see if this change will actually be implemented globally or won’t make it past the tests.