Facebook has no plans to make news feed changes worldwide

Facebook has no plans to make news feed changes worldwide

Facebook said Tuesday it is testing users' preferences on "personal or public content," as it begins hiding non-paid posts in some news feeds.

Facebook's comments followed a report by The Guardian that the social media platform was testing a change in which users have a secondary news feed where unpaid or unpromoted content appears. Media outlets can pay for content to appear in a users' main news feed, otherwise, it would appear in the secondary news feed.

“There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore,” writes Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed at Facebook, in a blog post.  

The test countries include Slovakia, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further,” Mosseri continued.

Media in the affected countries noted that their posts were being pushed to a second news feed, while a primary feed was dominated by user content from friends and family members. Mosseri tweeted on Monday that the tests were based on user demand.

“People often tell us they want more from friends so we're testing two feeds, one for friend content and another dedicated to page content,” Mosseri wrote on Twitter.

Filip Struhárik, a journalist at Slovakian news outlet Dennik N, showed that the tests caused traffic driven to news outlets from Facebook to drop by 60 to 80 percent.

“Pages are seeing dramatic drops in organic reach,” Struhárik wrote. “The reach of several Facebook pages fell on Thursday and Friday by two-thirds compared to previous days.”

Many media publishers are heavily reliant on traffic generated by the social media platform. A 2015 report showed that Facebook is the number one traffic source for news outlets.