Facebook rolls out second alternative News feed

Facebook rolls out second alternative News feed

That means Facebook's main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers. Early test results, according to the Medium article, show a significant drop in organic reach among the 60 largest Slovakin publishers, although this appears to affect smaller publishers more than bigger ones.

The brand posts would go into the "Explore Feed", a new feature for seeing posts from brands you don't follow.

Facebook is testing a new update that would move non-promoted posts out of users' newsfeeds, which could be a major hit to media publishers who use the platform to bring traffic to their websites.

Other critics say the test signals a move toward a world in which publishers will have to pay to reach Facebook users. People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.

Adam Mosseri, head of news at Facebook, said on Twitter that there is no plan to make the changes global.

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Though Facebook claims it doesn't plan to roll this out globally right now, the fact that Facebook is even testing it should be terrifying for publishers, who nearly all rely heavily on Facebook's News Feed for distribution. Struharik reported huge declines for Slovak media pages, with organic reach dropping by two-thirds when the test was implemented. The digital giant has been hosting workshops for publishers as well as testing subscription tools for Instant Articles. Media giants like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are spearheading the coalition known as the News Media Alliance (NMA) because they feel as if Facebook and Google reap all of the benefits from their original content. While publishers rely on eyeballs from Facebook, the ability to monetise it has always been a friction point.

Those months of Facebook drought could be ruinous for some publishers who've grown to rely on the social network for referral traffic, and that have hired staff to produce content funded by the ad views driven by Facebook referrals.

This could be bad news for outlets that heavily rely on Facebook traffic and it stands to impact their revenue.

Facebook is testing the format in smaller markets, which could indicate they aren't serious about the format yet. Facebook said the dual feed test was different from an "explore" tab it will be rolling out, where people can flip into a media hub filled with content Facebook thinks they might enjoy even if the people haven't liked the pages that appear.

According to the Guardian, the experiment has led to a drop in users' engagement on Facebook from 60 percent to 80 percent.

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