Facebook Ends 'Explore Feed' Test that Showed Two Separate News Feeds

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"We think our recent changes to News Feed that prioritize meaningful social interactions better address the feedback we heard from people who said they want to see more from friends and family".

Users in the countries that saw their news feeds split said they didn't receive important information that they needed after the change took effect, and that they had no idea what the hell was going on with their feeds.

On Thursday, Facebook finally put an end to its experiment of splitting the news feed in two; one for posts from friends, and one - dubbed "explore" - for publishers and brands. Explore separated the News Feed into two distinct streams, effectively creating two places to visit if you wanted to view all unread posts. Filip Struhárik, a journalist in Slovakia, said the test led to the "biggest drop in organic reach we've ever seen". Facebook says that it will act on this feedback by updating how it determines where it tests new products and features. What is this "Explore" feed? you may ask.

Facebook has bowed to outrage by calling an end to a controversial experiment in which it deliberately blocked official news reports to members in six countries.

This strategy got underway in October after Facebook launched a separate "explore" feed in affected countries, drawing immediate condemnation from the news organisations and businesses affected.

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"Facebook users in Cambodia will be able to receive information again after traditional and independent media were forced to shut down", said Nop Vy, editor in chief at the Voice of Democracy radio station, which suffered a huge, 30 to 40 percent, decline in viewers during the News Feed test.

However, FB soon found that people were less satisfied with the change and it didn't really help them connect more. Facebook will also be discontinuing the Explore Feed bookmark feature worldwide.

At this time, however, the feed doesn't appear to include advertising.

To be clear, this in no way impacts changes to the News Feed announced last month. Apparently, the Explore Feed made it more hard for people to access important information.