Facebook has pulled the plug on a controversial social media management experiment in which it separated news from publishers and from friends and family in users’ news feeds.
Facebook is ending its controversial “Explore Feed” feature, an experiment that seemed to be doomed from the very beginning.
The test, launched in six countries in October, involved separating users’ feeds into two—one for posts from friends and family, and the other for news and other content. The company said users had been telling it that they wanted to see more updates from their personal connections. A different version of the feed was available in the rest of the world, and it will also be discontinued this week.
“You gave us our answer: People don’t want two separate feeds,” wroteAdam Mosseri, the head of News Feed at Facebook, in a post on March 1. “In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn’t actually help them connect more with friends and family.”
The Facebook news feed experiment comes against the backdrop of a social media management identity crisis. The New York Times reports:
Facebook and other social media companies are grappling with their role in spreading false information propagated by Russians ahead of the 2016 presidential election. And they face increasing pressure from regulators around the world to get a better handle on what happens on their networks, from misinformation to cyberbullying.
Also on Thursday, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, said his company was looking for ways to measure the “health” of conversations on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter has been home to a number of people who use the platform to harass, bully and mislead.
“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers,” Mr. Dorsey wrote. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.”