Facebook kills off Explore after users complain that they “don’t want” two separate News Feeds

Facebook has killed off the Explore Feed, a secondary News Feed it had been testing since October.

For the test, Facebook split its News Feed in two. The main feed only contained posts and updates from friends and family, while the new Explore Feed comprised content from publishers and brands.

Facebook hoped that the removal of Pages from the News Feed would result in users seeing, and interacting with, more updates they were actually interested in. It would also help shield users from fake news.

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“You gave us our answer: People don’t want two separate feeds,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed, wrote in a blog post.

“In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn’t actually help them connect more with friends and family.”

Facebook had been testing the Explore Feed on users in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia. They told the company that the experiment had “made it harder for [users] to access important information”, and that it failed to communicate the test clearly.

“We’re acting on this feedback by updating the way we evaluate where to test new products, and how we communicate about them,” Facebook said.

The company is also ditching the Explore Feed bookmark − which had been available globally, and contained content from Pages and public figures users didn’t actually follow − as it “isn’t an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook”.

Snapchat, which controversially divided content from friends and content from media organisations in its app earlier this year, will likely be paying close attention to Facebook’s Explore Feed u-turn.

“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,” added Mosseri.

“Those changes mean less public content in News Feed like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

What News Feed tweaks would you like to see Facebook make next? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews.