Facebook 'Explore' Test Could Downgrade Publisher Content

Any talk of Facebook building bridges with publishers may have to be put on hold. The world’s largest social network is testing a new format for its popular Newsfeed feature, which removes content posted by pages (including publishers) from the Newsfeed and relocates it to the new “Explore” Feed.

It’s worth noting that Facebook is testing the new feature in a few smaller markets overseas (Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia). There is no guarantee it will ever see a broader rollout, either in the U.S. or abroad.

Still, the test holds out the alarming possibility that Facebook, by moving publisher content to the harder-to-find Explore Feed, will effectively demote it in the big hierarchy of user attention — making it even harder for publishers to find and retain Facebook audiences.

Facebook launched Explore to expose users to content from sources outside their usual social-media context. By definition, it includes things users haven’t already expressed interest in. That's not exactly an ideal storefront for publishers or content creators of any stripe, especially considering it is a separate tab users choose to open.



In the tests, the main Newsfeed is devoted solely to news from friends, family, and other members of the user’s personal social network.

The results of the test in smaller markets are sobering for publishers.

One small publisher in Slovakia reports that while the country’s big newspapers and media companies fared better, small publishers have seen the organic reach of some of their Facebook pages fall by two-thirds. Facebook interactions, such as likes and shares, are down by a factor of four. 

Back on the positive side of the ledger, Facebook has also begun testing a new system that will allow publishers to sell subscriptions and enforce their paywalls in coordination with the network. The new subscription sales tool, developed under the aegis of Facebook’s Journalism Project, is integrated with Facebook’s Instant Articles. It allows publishers to direct users to their own Web sites, off the Facebook platform, in order to sign up.

Facebook is offering publishers two paywall options, one which allows users to read up to 10 free articles per month before requiring them to subscribe, and another that allows publishers to choose which articles are free to view and which will be behind the paywall.

However, at launch, the new subscription sales system will only be compatible with Android devices. That's due to Facebook’s inability to come to an agreement with Apple over sharing revenue from the sales.

1 comment about "Facebook 'Explore' Test Could Downgrade Publisher Content".
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  1. Syndicated News from www.SyndicatedNews.NET, October 26, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    As a society, not just in the US but in Europe as well, it is time the masses realize that the "good ol' boy" network is as strong today as it was 80+ years ago in the movie and entertainment industry and that until that is corrected, men will continue abusing younger men, women and children whom are unable to defend themselves.

    Again, this didn't just happen once or twice. This sexual abuse and battery has gone on in front of other important powers-that-be whom perhaps did not behave this way but most certainly turned their heads and covered their ears. 

    Barbara Walters might have come out and told Corey Feldman, "You're a disgrace, you're damaging an entire industry," but an entire legion of people in the entertainment industry have stood by quietly voyeuring the sexual assaults.

    People like Bill Cosby didn't just happen to verbally and physically assault people, his lawyers repeatedly coddled him and protected him thereby not only condoning the assaults but furthering his bravado. The ability to hide his criminal behavior behind his law firms allowed his assaults to continue on for decades. 

    It's no different for Weinstein or any of the other now identified sexually depraved sexual criminals. 

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