Newsrooms and Marketers went into panic mode this week as Facebook ran a test moving content to the new Facebook Explore Feed costing them between 60-80% of their traffic. Their Facebook engagement fell off the metaphorical cliff. The test was carried out in 6 countries Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. North America, most areas of Europe, Australia etc were left unaffected. But this did not stop the tremors being felt far and wide.
So what is the bigger picture here, what was this big Facebook traffic test about?
This new Facebook test was all about cleaning up the news feed and giving users what they want to see. Facebook engagement for Brand Pages and Marketers has been on the slide now for a very long time. There bigger Facebook gets the more content that is produced and there is only so much content that can go into the news feed because of the way that the Facebook algorithm works. Of course, Facebook wants to grow and to continue to grow so much so that it is now finding itself in the situation where there is just too much content.
Can there ever be too much content?. Well no not really but something has to give for the right members to see what you are creating.
Facebook is the biggest social network by a long, long way. If you are a Newsroom or a medium to large business then you have to have a meaningful presence on Facebook. It is just where the numbers are.
The Newsrooms, Businesses, the Marketers are the big spenders.
When they spend our news feed is filled with what they want us to see. The problem is, do we really want to see it? Well, ads are fine, but there comes a point when it’s just too much and people just start to spend less time on Facebook or leave. Facebook to their credit recognize this and have launched the Explore Feed, a little-known area of Facebook on the left side of your menu that very few yet know about.
Well due to this latest Facebook News Feed test members are now catching onto it. Not because they have found the Facebook Explore Feed but because they are reading all the stories on the news channels about how their Facebook traffic is flatlining. You see the test was all about cleaning up members news feeds. And the price was to relegate and move content to the new Facebook Explore Feed. Hence the massive drop in traffic for those relegated to the Explore Feed.
Big Brands and Marketers who pay to play will stay on the main news feed, but they will more than likely see some content move to the Explore Feed? Those who use Facebook for business or to get the word out about a project, anything that really doesn’t have an advertising budget will be affected. Look at it like this, your friends and families accounts are Tv Shows. You have back to back viewing options, with selected paid for ads from brands. And then you have the cheap seats where everyone else goes. Are you really going to change channels to view the marketing ads from members who don’t pay to play?
Here is how you navigate to the Explore Feed via desktop and the app
Go to the side menu panel on the desktop version and “See More” to navigate to your Facebook Explore Feed.
The screen capture below shows you how to navigate to the Explore Feed via the Facebook App
Facebook’s VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri had this to say
“We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.” But that doesn’t mean Facebook won’t move forward with implementing a similar change more widely if users prefer their News Feed just be posts from friends.
It would seem that the days of generating organic traffic with Facebook are now all but over. However, if Facebook is all that you know and love and will be sticking with then you can give your Facebook Traffic a boost with my How to boost your Facebook engagement organically guide.
All the tips on offer all still work, or at least work for now 😉
Now it’s over to you. Have you found the Facebook Explore Feed? What is your opinion?
Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.