Plenty of press at the moment on Facebook’s new take on what a news feed should be—first reported by Filip Struhárik under the title “Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen”.
In Filip’s piece he notes that FB is testing this new feed in “Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia” and this seemed to be supported by Adam Mosseri, the head of News Feed at FB, with the following tweet.
This image reflects a test in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia. It's not global and there are no plans to be.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) October 23, 2017
OK, fair nuf.
Here is what I am seeing in Bali, Indonesia.
Now, on the above page, I can scroll forever and never see an unpaid/promoted item from a page I’ve liked. Nada. The only way I see them is in this “Pages stories you may like” insert. Paid/promoted posts appear as normal.
This is the same behaviour Filip wrote about.
In Filip’s case, the unpaid items have been
buried I mean, moved, to the “Explore Feed” tab, but in my case this is what I see:
Some dude with a big fish from a page I have not liked but Facebook thinks I might want to. Now I can scroll forever here and all I see are items from pages Facebook thinks I might like—not from pages I have actually liked.
So where are the unpaid items from pages I’ve liked?
I tried the “Pages” tab and Iget this:
This is the “Top suggestions” from Facebook—essentially the same as the Explore tab, but this time better targeted (liked by my friends etc). But, where are the unpaid items from pages I’ve liked?
Lets try the “Invites” tab.
This is a summary of all the pages I have been invited to like. If I click on one, I just get the FB page for that organisation. That is not a news feed—and I don’t like these pages anyway.
Lets try the “Liked pages” tab.
This is a summary of all the pages I have liked, so am getting close, but there is no feed here. If I click on one, I just get the FB page for that organisation. That is not a news feed.
The last tab is “Your pages” which just links to a couple of pages I manage.
So as far as I can see, as a user in Indonesia, one of Facebook’s largest markets, unpaid items from pages I have liked have not been relegated to the Explore tab but instead have been entirely removed from Facebook’s feeds.
This doesn’t make the tweet from the FB staffer up top inaccurate of course, but it does suggest they’re running another, even more damaging test, here in Indonesia.