Friday, 22 June, 2018

Facebook ends 'Orwellian' news feed experiment

Facebook drops newsfeed experiment after it promoted fake news Facebook decides two separate news feeds is the wrong call
Sherry Houston | 03 March, 2018, 00:35

Facebook says the separate feed connected to the rocket ship icon was a "trial response" to user feedback that they wanted to see more content from family and friends.

In October, secondary news feed tests were rolled out in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia, and Slovakia.

Last October, The Guardian first reported that Facebook meant to split its algorithmic News Feed into two: one for non-promoted posts from Pages and publishers (called "Explore"), and one for your friends and family.

Facebook noticeably chose smaller countries with emerging markets to carry out the test, a sentiment that was not lost on local publishers.

The bad news for businesses is that Mosseri confirmed Facebook's will to show more content from friends and families and less from brands and publishers.

The social network has been trialling a second News Feed dedicated to media posts, but now says the feature will be binned.

"Having two separate feeds didn't actually help them connect more with friends and family".

U.S. digital publisher Little Things became the first major casualty of the algorithm change this week, after a "catastrophic" and sudden drop in organic and influencer traffic of more than 75 per cent.

We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone.

Facebook will be discontinuing the explore feed globally this week.

In a news post this week, Facebook said that Explore was created based on "consistent feedback" from people looking for a more personal News Feed.

That's why in October, the company started trialling an "Explore Feed" tab exclusively dedicated to news posts - leaving the normal News Feed to be filled with baby pictures and snaps of your friend's lasagne.

Splitting the feed confused a lot of people, but it was publishers who were hit the hardest, with many experiencing a massive decrease in user engagement on the platform. "Both of these tests provided us with valuable feedback that we will use to improve News Feed for everyone".

At this time, however, the feed doesn't appear to include advertising.

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