In recent months, Facebook has experimented with changes on their platform to combat clickbait publishers and to find different ways of expressing user’s lifestyles through Stories. Additionally, the company experimented with a separate feed called Explore, moving news (and clickbait) originally belonging to Pages into the left side column while keeping your friends’ posts in your main newsfeed.
“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,” said Facebook about the reasoning behind this experiment.
A lot of users were happy to see more from their friends, but a lot of publishers saw their reach and engagement drop dramatically since people weren’t viewing their content anymore.
However, now that Facebook’s Explore experiment window has ended, the company has decided to end Explore. Facebook itself says that users did not like the idea of exploring two different feeds, one for friends and one for brands, and some of them didn’t even know something had changed in their Newsfeed.
“Explore gave people a new feed of content to discover Pages and public figures they hadn’t previously followed. We concluded that Explore isn’t an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook.”
As the feature will be ending, this may mean brands and news publishers will regain some of their lost numbers. However, Facebook is likely not done testing ways to declutter the Newsfeed and eradicate clickbait. We’ll probably see more attempts in the future as Facebook attempts to please its user base.