Facebook scraps ‘Explore’ feature

Facebook scraps ‘Explore’ feature

Not every new idea is a good idea.

Facebook announced this week that it was pulling the plug on one of the experiments it initiated and tested in some locations last year: the explore feed.

“We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone,” said Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed for Facebook. “Some of these changes—like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs— work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t and we drop them.”

The Explore Feed was an attempt to tackle the changes that Facebook recently made in trying to get more news from friends and family—and fewer from businesses and business pages—into users’ news feeds. While they ultimately changed the algorithm, they scrapped the Explore Feed, which would have essentially created two newsfeeds for people. The idea, Mosseri said, was to create a version of Facebook with two different News Feeds: one that was dedicated to posts from friends and family and another dedicated to posts for Pages. It was tested in seven countries, beginning in October, 2017.

The idea was good, he said, but the feedback wasn’t. As it turned out, those who tested the new feature said they were less satisfied with the posts they saw, and having two separate feeds didn’t help them connect more with friends and family.

“We also received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and that we didn’t communicate the test clearly,” he said.

The Explore Feed bookmark is going away, too. The bookmark gave people access to a new feed of content, giving them a glimpse of 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,” Mosseri said.

Are you upset that you didn’t get a chance to test out the Explore Feed? What other changes have you liked or disliked? Let us know in the comments!

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