Right now, when you go to Facebook News Feeds, you will get updates from your friends, Facebook Groups, and Facebook Pages. The platform is rife with information overload, and more often than not, it is information from news outlets like a TV station, a media house, a blog site or something like that.
Well, that could soon be a thing of the past as Facebook is testing split News Feeds; one that features posts exclusively from your friends and one that has everyone else. Facebook is testing this feature for a select number of users in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Serbia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Bolivia, Serbia, and Slovakia.
At the present moment, Facebook is stressing that it doesn’t have plans to roll out the dual News Feed globally. That decision could very well be informed by the fact that where the Facebook is testing the feature, Companies’ Facebook Pages have reported up to 60% to 80% drop in engagement.
CrowdTangle, an analytics company, surveyed users’ engagement with companies’ pages in countries where the split News Feed is being tested. CrowdTangle found out that there has been a drop in engagements of between two-thirds and three-quarters overnight. Should Facebook decide to roll out the dual News Feed feature, a lot of businesses will be negatively affected.
On the flip side, Facebook is going to become (once again) a more personal platform. As opposed to what it grew to become, another platform trying to sell you things, or have you buy into certain ideas. However, businesses that pay for promotion on Facebook will have their posts feature on both News Feeds. For businesses who want their posts to reach people organically, will have to make do with not featuring on one of the News Feed; the more personal News Feed. They will only hope that more users will frequently visit both News Feeds and not just the one where their family and friends are posting.
Interestingly, neither Facebook nor any third parties interested in this new development have talked about Group posts. It is not clear if they will face the same fate as Pages or they will be treated like posts from other Facebook friends.
In a statement to The Guardian, Facebook said, “With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful. 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.”
It is important to mention another experimental feature Facebook has also been working on, the Explore. A new tab that lets users find interesting content from Pages; these are Pages they are yet to follow.