Facebook has announced that its experiment with having two News Feeds has ended. The social media site had been looking into the possibility of splitting posts from proper news sources off into a separate section called the Explore Feed, and had been trialing the system in six small countries.
The original intent of the dual feed system was to give people more content from family and friends. Which is what Facebook says its users actually want. Therefore, the solution was to create two spaces – one for connecting with others, and the other for posts from websites.
However, journalists from the trial countries of Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia criticised the move. Calling it an Owellian move and an attack on democracy. The situation was exacerbated in Slovakia where elections were set to be held amid a growing alt-right facist movement.
Fortunately, it would seem that most Facebook users happen to like seeing news updates in their feeds as well; and the company has reverted these countries to the same posts that the rest of the world sees.
While it didn’t directly address the concerns raised by journalists, Facebook did say “we concluded that Explore isn’t an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook.”