Facebook has been caught testing a new version of its News Feed, and brands are getting understandably worried.

The new feed, spotted in six ‘test’ markets, appears to remove branded page content from the main news feed, and hide it away on a secondary “explore” feed – making it easier for users to avoid content from brands and publishers that haven’t paid for promoted posts.

So what is Facebook doing with the feed, and should brands be worried? Sian Hall takes a look in Digital Minute.

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Sian and on today’s Digital Minute, we’re looking at the Facebook experiment that is giving social media managers plenty to think about.

There has been a lot of chatter in the past week or so about something that Facebook has been testing, and could threaten to dramatically reduce the ability for smaller brands to reach their audiences.

Facebook has been testing a “split feed” in certain markets, where the main news feed will focus on organic friends and family posts and paid traffic, and pushing branded posts behind a less prominent “explore” button.

With branded content hidden behind this “explore” button, it makes it much harder for brands to reach those audiences without paying for the privilege. One publisher claimed that it saw traffic fall by 60 per cent since this test started.

As things stand, this is only a test in a handful of markets, but we’ll all need to keep an eye on this. As Facebook’s algorithms keep favouring paid content, we may need to rethink your brand’s approach.

We’ve had a closer look at this over on our blog. Thanks for watching, I’m Sian Hall, and that was your Digital Minute.

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