Will Explore Feed help burst our respective Facebook bubbles?
Facebook yesterday (18 October) confirmed to TechCrunch that users should see the new Explore Feed on both desktop and mobile in the coming weeks.
The feature had been tested on a small number of mobile users, but now everyone can try it out for themselves.
As is the norm with Facebook, the Explore Feed is algorithmically arranged based on your own previous likes, but the posts are from pages you may not have come across in your scrolling before. Posts may also be added to the feed based on their popularity among the people you’re connected to on the site.
Facebook's Explore Feed is now on desktop, huh? pic.twitter.com/mgXs6tpapH
— Matt Navarra ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) October 17, 2017
Discovering new pages
Facebook said that the Explore Feed is a direct response to user requests to make it easier to discover pages that they aren’t already following.
“We are beginning to roll out a complementary feed of popular articles, videos and photos, automatically customised for each person based on content that might be interesting to them.
“We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from pages they haven’t connected with yet.”
The Explore Feed is accessible on the left sidebar of Facebook on desktop; on mobile, you can take a look via the More menu.
A secondary News Feed?
This feature could be viewed as a secondary News Feed for Facebook to monetise via advertising, though there are no ads after extended scrolling at present.
An increase in time spent on-site or in-app is partially the Explore Feed’s aim, as well as serving users posts they are likely to enjoy. The content won’t do that much to help burst your carefully curated feed, as adding pages that won’t interest users to Explore will mean they’ll leave the app or webpage sooner.
Facebook wants to connect users with a broad range of their interests through recommended content, and make it easier to follow news and trending topics (as many do via Twitter).
It’s not clear how users will adopt the new feature, though, particularly as the rocket icon is buried within both the app and website.
Facebook is making a change on both mobile and desktop. Image: weedezign/Shutterstock