Facebook is killing its dual news feed project over negative feedback, the company said Thursday, adding that the Explore Feed won't be coming back to any version of its platform going forward. Originally launched late last year in Slovakia, Serbia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, and Guatemala, the experiment generated major controversy among the digital media and consumers. Media outlets were arguing Facebook effectively eliminated the majority of their social media reach with the move, whereas many users were complaining the change made navigation more difficult and the details of the test weren't communicated in clear terms. News Feed chief Adam Mosseri said all of the feedback on the Explore Feed has been heard and hasn't just impacted the company's decision to discontinue the project but will also reflect on the manner in which it conducts its experiments in the future.
The primary goal of the Explore Feed was to allow Facebook users to see more posts from their friends and family members on the landing page of the world's largest social network yet that ambition has largely been fulfilled with the recent revamp of the News Feed that purged it from the vast majority of content posted by pages, Mr. Mosseri believes. The development should hence address most complaints users had about the existence of the Explore Feed dedicated to content from pages but won't affect the issues media outlets have with Facebook's new strategy. Facebook is presently in the process of shifting its focus away from news due to a number of controversies surrounding the role its platform played and still plays in the dissemination of maliciously misleading and factually inaccurate information, especially in the context of global misinformation campaigns.
While the Explore Feed-driven News Feed separation was only available in half a dozen countries, the content stream itself was also accessible via browsers from anywhere in the world. The Menlo Park, California-based tech giant is now discontinuing the feature in its entirety. The main New Feed revamp is still in the process of being rolled out to everyone but should affect all of the company's two billion users by spring, according to its own estimates.