FB not to roll out 'Explore' feed test globally
San Francisco: A Facebook experiment in six countries to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content on its platform will not be rolled out globally, the social media platform has clarified.
The test is being done in Facebook's "Explore" feed - which is secondary feed over the primary New Feed for its users - in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia.
"Some have interpreted this test as a future product we plan to deliver globally. We currently have no plans to roll this test out further," Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, wrote in a post late on Monday.
The test in these six countries is different than the version of "Explore" that has been rolled out to most people. Outside of the above countries, "Explore" is a complementary feed of popular articles, videos and photos automatically customised for each person based on content that might be interesting to them.
"We've heard from people that they want an easy way to discover relevant content from pages they haven't connected with yet. While 'Explore' includes content from relevant pages, posts from pages that people like or follow will continue to appear in News Feed," Mosseri explained.
According to reports, the test has seen users' engagement with Facebook pages drop dramatically from 60 per cent to even 80 per cent. If replicated more broadly, such a change would destroy many smaller publishers, TechCrunch reported.
According to Mosseri, the company is testing having one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends and family, and another separate space called "Explore" with posts from pages.
"The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it's an idea worth pursuing any further," he said.
There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or "Explore". Facebook recently said it will introduce "Explore" feed for users on the desktop to help them discover stories beyond the friends and pages they already follow.