Facebook has rolled out it’s currently little known Explore Feed. The first thing that springs to mind if you haven’t already heard about Facebooks Explore Feed is that you will have to be an explorer to actually find Facebook’s alternative news feed. If you don’t know about it then it is well hidden.
Facebook recently sent publishers into a worried frenzy when they ran a news feed test moving content away from the regular news feed to the new Explore Feed costing publishers 60-80% of their traffic. Normal organic reach flatlined prompting publishers to question how the hell they now reach their audience. And of course, the only sure-fire way of doing that is to pay.
Navigation To Facebook’s Alternative News Feed – Explore Feed
The alternative feed or Explore Feed as it has now been named is located in the left-side sidebar on the desktop version of Facebook along with Facebook features such as Events, Groups, Pages, Moments, Saved items, and more. The Explore Feed can also be found on the app as shown below.
The Facebook Explore Feed is designed to help users discover more content that they will like across the social network. Its reach is designed to be far beyond posts from friends and Pages you already follow and have engaged with.
Facebook Explore is more of “a recommended for you” content feed showing you content that it thinks you might be interested in.
The content shown will not only be from publishers you have shown an interest in, in the past but also content from creators that you have never come across before. The content shown will be based on your likes and interests and the likes and interests of your friends and followers.
At this time, the Explore Feed seems to be advertising free. But there can be no doubt that at some point this alternative feed will be monetized. This will further increase Facebook’s massive revenues.
How does this now work with the main news feed?
Well, the recent feed test saw publishers lose on a big scale. Their organic reach was relegated to an alternative feed that very few members knew about. Those who pay to play remain reasonably unaffected and they’re paid for views should also result in organic reach via the Explore Feed, surfaced from friends and families engagement. So we do see some upside for big brands and those advertising.
For those who can still remember when “your views” were exactly that, “your views” it’s a very different story.There is just too much content now, there is content overload and the Facebook algorithm can only show so much so if you are not paying rent you will be evicted. And more will pay or if paying continue to do so to stay in the Premier League.
The near future will provide us with very little change. Brand page engagement and organic reach will continue to stay on life support and well managed Facebook groups will continue to provide the value.
The success and failure of the Explorer Feed will depend really on its visibility. Are members going to search for content that they don’t really want to see on Facebooks Alternative News Feed.
We suggest a re-design where you can very easily switch between feeds, something like in the simple mockup below.
Simply switch between the news feed of your choice 😉
Now it’s over to you.
What do you think about Facebook’s Alternative News Feed?
Will the Explore Feed bring back some organic reach for Brand Pages? Or is it just a future additional income stream?
Have your say in the comments section below!
Since writing this article we had an initial surge in views to our Fan Page posts. Anything up to 500 – 1000 per post. But I’m afraid that it would seem that the trend in giving disappointing results for organic reach has resumed with posts struggling to reach 100 members.