The Facebook Explore Feed Experiment
You may have heard of the Explore feed that Facebook is testing alongside their regular News Feed.
The Explore feed aims to show content relevant to a user’s interests, even from pages that they don’t follow yet (hence the name “Explore”). It sounds like a great way to find some new content and pages to follow. The kicker is that Facebook is testing removing Page posts from the regular News Feed. The idea is to refine the News Feed to show only friends and family updates, as well as promoted/boosted Page posts. That change means that posts from Pages/Business updates will be shown only in Explore, unless a post is paid/boosted/promoted to be shown in the News Feed. Users are still able to share posts from Pages/etc on their own personal profiles, which will show in the regular News Feed.
The test is currently running in a few countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia, and Sri Lanka) to see if users prefer to have their content split between the News Feed and Explore Feed. Reportedly, there are no confirmed plans from Facebook to roll it out worldwide. Yet, we’ve found some articles saying that it’s available on desktop for many people, after having been tested on mobile first.
It seems some of us have access to the Explore feed already, but posts from Pages are still being showing in the News Feed as normal, leading us to believe that the testing of the removal of Pages posts is only happening in those few certain countries mentioned above.
It’s got a lot of people worried, especially those who rely on Facebook reach for growing their business. The main concern is the huge drop in organic reach that has been reported by page admins in the tested countries. Some have had good experiences with paying to boost their posts to get decent reach and gain new audiences, but not everyone can afford to do that.
You might be able to prepare yourself for the possible decline of organic reach by engaging more within groups on Facebook. See if you can find any groups that are relevant to your industry. Try to find groups that are local to you as well – you might be able to gain some new customers or allies in your area. Help out fellow group members by answering questions that they’re posting. Some groups have themed days of the week (e.g. “Writer’s Wednesday”) which are opportunities for you to give yourself/your business a shout-out.
You could also look at expanding your social media presence to other platforms such as Twitter or Instagram. Not every business is suited to using every platform though, so have a think about what each platform offers and whether or not it could be worth your time.
There’s not too much that we have to worry about just yet because this change might not even rollout worldwide. If it does, at least you know that you can look at some options. Maybe have a think about how much value Facebook might bring in for your business to help you decide whether or not you’ll need to pay to boost posts.
Have any thoughts or questions? Let us know!
Written by Chelsea Zanki