The experimental Facebook Explore feed ends but free-for-now Messenger Broadcast ads begin, with plans to monetize the tool, soon…
Goodbye Facebook Explore Feed. Billed as an alternative feed, the feature rolled out in six different countries. It was supposed to a new way for people to discover content they wouldn’t otherwise see in the main News Feed, based on their likes and other interactions. But, it never caught on.
Facebook Explore Feed Ends
In a blog post announcing the sunset, the head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri wrote, “We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes—like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs— work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t and we drop them. Today, we’re ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed.”
Mosseri continued, “The Explore Feed was a trial response to consistent feedback we received from people over the past year who said they want to see more from friends and family in News Feed. The idea was to create a version of Facebook with two different News Feeds: one as a dedicated place with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated place for posts from Pages.”
The separate feed remained obscure through the testing phase. And, with other changes to the News Feed, it wasn’t appealing to brands and publishers.
Messenger Broadcast Ads Begin
But, things keep on chugging along in the ad monetization sphere at Facebook. The company is now testing Messenger Broadcast. It’s an unsophisticated ads platform that doesn’t use bots. Currently, the program is only open to a small percentage of Pages in the U.S., Mexico, and Thailand. And, presently, it’s free to use.
Messenger Broadcast allows Pages to blast messages out to users who’ve previously interacted with them. Although Facebook does limit the number of messages, the ads will likely consist of low-quality, high-volume promotions. What’s worse is Facebook plans to monetize the tool, which incentives current users to abuse the system while it’s still free.