Is Facebook Ramping Up Its Test of an Explore Feed Alternative News Feed?

Similar tests have been surfacing since February

Headshot of David Cohen

The Explore alternative News Feed Facebook has been testing in various forms is now showing up for some users in the More menu of its flagship application.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the latest test in an email to Social Pro Daily:

We are testing a complementary feed of popular articles, videos and photos, 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 new content they haven’t connected with yet.

In February, some Android users (including this writer’s wife) began seeing a bottom navigation bar with two options, Home and Explore.

Home brought up the “traditional” News Feed, while Explore delivered an ad-free feed populated by articles, videos and photos from publishers. The content in this feed was customized via an algorithm, and it included stories from pages that users may not have liked or followed, as it was based on what users might find more relevant and be most interested in.

Then, in March, select users on both iOS and Android began seeing a rocket-ship icon that triggered the same type of alternative News Feed described above.

Sarah Perez of TechCrunch reported Friday that users in the latest test group are seeing an Explore Feed option in the More menu of their apps, and she shared the tweet below from another Facebook user with access to the feature, as well as her experiences with it.

According to Perez, choosing Explore Feed from the More menu brings users to a separate page with an illustration of a rocket and a welcome message reading, “Welcome to Explore Feed: Top posts for you, from across Facebook.”

Scrolling through the feed brought up the same types of posts described in the earlier tests, with Perez writing:

Facebook surfaced content that matched up with my political views, as well as my interests in tech, parenting, media and entertainment.

All screenshots aside from the Android Home and Explore test from February courtesy of Sarah Perez, TechCrunch. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: July 14, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT