If you’re a Facebook user (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days!), you’ll be more than sensitive to any changes or updates that occur. If you’ve been using Facebook from the time it exploded in popularity back in the mid-noughties, you’ll be familiar with how much it’s changed since the first layout and back when everyone had a “wall” to write on. Whenever Facebook completed an update, it was usually met with huge backlash and public outcry as Facebook’s loyal users were so accustomed and comfortable with how it was that they rallied against any major changes. Facebook persisted with updates as technology giants have to do, and kept evolving their news feed to lead to the “timelines” we have today, complete with “likes” and now even “reactions”. It’s hard to think back to a time when Facebook didn’t even have likes!
Now, Facebook has developed a new update that has sent people reeling, and some people jumping for joy – a new type of feed called “Explore”. This isn’t the first new type of feed that Facebook has introduced lately, as the “marketplace” feed was introduced last year which allows users to buy and sell items from and to people in their local area. The “Explore” feed is a brand new concept that is akin to Instagram’s explore feed, whereby users can essentially browse through posts that Facebook thinks will be of interest to them. “Going viral” will have a whole new meaning! This alternative feed is designed to allow users to explore content that might otherwise not show up in their newsfeed or from their current friend or page list.
A spokesperson from Facebook commented; “We are beginning to roll out a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, automatically customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them. […] We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven’t connected with yet.”
This new feed is designed to help pages share their content with more users and to help more users explore new content, essentially. The feed could be helpful for brands as it will gain them more exposure, encourage users to spend more time on Facebook, and it will also encourage pages to create content exclusively for this type of feed, thereby exploring a new avenue for Facebook. The feed can be seen by clicking on the rocket icon on the bottom of the mobile app, or by going to the ‘more’ tab and selecting “Explore” in the menu. The rocket icon is appropriate for this function as it has connotations of adventure, exploring new worlds or landscapes and fast-moving objects. The idea behind it then appears to be that users can explore new realms of Facebook they have left undiscovered before and quickly find new content or posts that they will enjoy.
Fear not if you don’t want to see anything else spamming your feed, as this tab has to be voluntarily accessed by the user in order to see the content, and nothing from the original news feed will change unless you edit it to do so! If you’re a brand though, this has so much potential to gain new followers and new interactions with just one click and people scrolling. The possibilities are endless and allows brands to create a unique voice for themselves that can thrive in an environment like the explore feed, instead of just using popular videos in order to gain likes. There are no ads in the feed (at least, not yet) and suggests the feed is based on an algorithm that curates content based on what you’ve interacted with in the past.
What do you think of Facebook’s new feed? Get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles to let us know your thoughts.
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