Facebook has officially debuted its Explore Feed, an alternative to its regular newsfeed. The company says the goal of the Explore feed is to enable users to find pages that may interest them.
One look at the Explore Feed and a user quickly realizes that this isn’t a featured implemented because users demanded it. It’s a way for Facebook to pacify brands, who are getting frustrated with the fact they must pay for ads for their content to reach a decent number of people. We all know that the Explore Feed isn’t going to remain ad free for long. Facebook isn’t going to let a potential revenue stream go unmonetized.
The hook for Facebook users is that the platform uses your interests and your friends interests to find what it believes is content best suited to your interests. In theory, this is similar to Amazon’s “you may also be interest in” feature. However, one scroll through an Explore Feed quickly reveals enough flaws in the algorithm to send you running back to your regular newsfeed.
While Facebook hopes to draw users to the Explore Feed, it doesn’t seem likely. Currently, you have to go digging to find it. Once you get to it, you realize that some content is relevant to some friends, other content is relevant to other friends, and the rest of the content is from sites that regularly show up in your increasingly cluttered newsfeed as sponsored content.
As a Facebook user, I quickly got frustrated with the Explore Feed’s lack of relevant content to my interests. The sponsored ads in my newsfeed are much more relevant to me. As a digital marketing professional, I found the feed to be pointless because a great idea has been released to the masses in an obvious beta stage.
Facebook’s trying to please digital marketers with a platform that could provide them with a larger organic reach, but does that really matter if no one is looking at the Explore Feed?