What is and how does the new explore section of Facebook work?
Facebook finally introduced the Explore section in its web version, a section that took months of testing in mobile applications. In this way, the social network seeks to spend much more time connected to it.
Facebook has mutated a lot over the years. At the beginning, we wanted to be in touch with your loved ones, seeing updates and photos of your day to day. That has changed a lot , and currently the main feed is a mixture of advertising, self-promotion, pages that you follow and some other personal comment (at least in my case).
The platform knows practically everything about you, and uses that information to offer you advertising appropriate to your tastes. Obviously, the more time you spend on the page is synonymous with one thing: more advertising you can see.
Explore the “unknown”
When they launched the Explore section, the company issued a statement saying that it is a “complementary feed filled with popular articles, photos and videos.” In this way, they seek to please a part of the users :
“Many people have asked us for a way to see relevant content from pages that do not yet follow.”
That is the true bet of this functionality. If you want to experience it, you will find the explore section in the left sidebar. According to the pages you follow , publications that you have given me, your community of friends, etc. You will see some publications or others.
As you can see, the content that appears here is totally viral . Publications and videos that have thousands of interactions and comments. In my case, I see many publications related to what is happening in Catalonia (I imagine it will be common for any Spanish user), a video of famous bands that I do not follow (for something will be) and artistic photographs.
Obviously, you will see a button in each publication to be able to follow that particular page. In my experience, I have not seen much publicity in this section, a measure that will surely change when users are more accustomed to using it.
An experiment that generated much controversy
The truth is that it is a bit strange that Facebook has two separate feeds , and there are many doubts about what will happen in the future. Our colleagues have just published an article in which they talk about a test carried out by the company.
With this test, Facebook wanted to know if people prefer that their feed continue to be full of “personal content” (as in the beginning) and have the publications of the pages in another section. In this way, we would look for the pages to have to pay and thus appear among the content of their followers.
They activated this experiment in six countries: Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka. That means that your users did not see posts of the pages in your main feed, resulting in a big drop in the visits of many websites:
Facebook has wanted to reassure everyone (especially those responsible for pages in the social network) issuing a statement in which they say that “there is no plan to implement this test in the rest of the world.”
What is clear is that Mark Zuckerberg and his team are looking for ways to get more money from the publications, at the same time sorting a bit the whole amount of content that appears in our feeds.
They forget that many of the users, in some way, use their Facebook account for self-promotion (of their pages, basically). We will have to wait to see what all this is, since it will be impossible to please everyone.
Cleaning the main feed a bit and encouraging it to be a place intended for “personal publications” could make many users become more active in the platform, but the reality is that most use this social network to also be aware of the latest news from many pages.
In the same way that happens in other media (television, radio, etc.) it seems that in the future the owners of the pages will have to pay if they want their publications to reach their audience.