After receiving adverse feedback, Facebook has announced an end to its experiment rolled out in six countries where it provided two separate places for personal and public content and virtually wiped out small publishers from the business.
"Today, we're ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed," said Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook's News Feed feature on Thursday in an official note, ending the five-month experiment.
Facebook tested "Explore" feed, which remained a secondary feed over the primary News Feed for its users in six countries -- Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia -- as a pilot feature. Rolled out in October 2017, Explore was touted as a future product by the Facebook team but it failed miserably.
The test in these six countries is different than the version of "Explore" that has been rolled out in other countries where it remained a complementary feed of popular articles, videos and photos automatically customised depending on each person's taste.
"We've heard from people that they want an easy way to discover relevant content from pages they haven't connected with yet. While 'Explore' includes content from relevant pages, posts from pages that people like or follow will continue to appear in News Feed," defended Adam Mosseri in October while announcing the new feature.
But reports said the test witnessed a dramatic fall in users' engagement with Facebook pages from 60 to 80 percent, sending alarm bells instantly. Had it been replicated in other countries, it would have destroyed many smaller publishers, said TechCrunch.
The social media platform on Thursday, March 1, announced the curtains down saying, "You gave us our answer: People don't want two separate feeds... We also received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information."
Facebook has also discontinued the "Explore Feed" bookmark globally beginning this week. "We concluded that Explore isn't an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook," said Mosseri in his latest blog.