Facebook has begun testing separate feeds for posts from friends and family members of a subscriber while the other features posts from Pages.
The test covers Facebook users in six countries, namely, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Cambodia.
Confirmation About Test
Mashable reported that a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the conduct of the test to Filip Struhárik, editor and social media manager at Dennik N but did not elaborate.
According to Struhárik, Facebook removed posts from Pages in the main feed of the social network and put them in the separate Explore feed.
Pages are accounts set up by businesses, celebrities, news publishers, among others.
The Explore tab is accessible from the More tab for most users, thus making it quite hard to find.
With the test, Facebook’s News Feed no longer features posts from publishers in the six countries for free.
“It’s a battlefield of ‘pay to play,’ where publishers have to pony up the dough to get back into the News Feed,” Mashable’s Kerry Flynn said.
To recall, Facebook officially launched its secondary news feed called Explore last week, which contains posts from Facebook Pages that users don’t follow.
News Feed shows posts from friends and Pages users follow.
Drop In Traffic
Meanwhile, news publishers in the six countries where the test is being conducted have complained of a 60 to 80 percent decrease in referral traffic, according to a TechCrunch report, quoting a Medium post from Struhárik.
Adam Mosseri, Facebook vice president of news feed, however, wrote that the social network has “no plan to roll the test out further.”
“As with all tests we run, we may learn new things that lead to additional tests in the coming months so we can better understand what works best for people and publishers.”
On Twitter, Mosseri said the test would “likely take months as it can take that long for people to adapt. But we’ll be looking to improve the experience in the meantime.”
On the other hand, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable in an email: “With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful.”
“People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.”
As explained by Facebook reps, the social network is conducting the test to make the News Feed less cluttered for users by separating posts from Pages they don’t follow.
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