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Facebook: split the news feed into personal and commercial?

Facebook has been working on the idea of dividing Facebook news feed into two separate feeds: commercial posts and personal news.

 

The Facebook news feed, the centerpiece of the world's largest social network service, is a streaming series of posts such as photos from friends, updates from family members, advertisements and material from celebrities or other pages that a user has liked.

The test, which is occurring in six smaller countries, now offers two user feeds, according to a statement from the company: one feed focused on friends and family and a second dedicated to the pages that the customer has liked.

The change could force those who run pages, everyone from news outlets to musicians to sports teams, to pay to run advertisements if they want to be seen in the feed that is for friends and family.

The test is taking place in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka, and is likely to go on for months.

 

No worries, just testing

Adam Mosseri, the Facebook executive in charge said the company has no plans for a global test of the two separate feeds for its 2bn users and that Facebook also does not currently plan to force commercial pages "to pay for all their distribution,".

"The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further," he said. 

"There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore."

 

What for?

Facebook frequently tests changes big and small as it tries to maximize the time people spend scrolling and browsing the network. Sometimes it makes changes permanent, and other times not.

Depending on how people respond, two news feeds could mean that they see fewer links to news stories. News has proved to be a tricky area for Facebook, as hoaxes and false news stories have sometimes spread easily on the network.

The test has already affected website traffic for smaller media outlets in recent days, Slovakian journalist Filip Struhárik wrote over the weekend in a post on Medium. He said the reach of some pages had fallen by around two-thirds.

Publishers might need to buy more Facebook ads to be seen, he wrote: "If you want your Facebook page posts to be seen in old news feed, you have to pay."

Source: Telegraph.co.uk, 2017

 

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017