Facebook says it is still in trials, this if implemented could be a ploy to force businesses to pay to feature in the friends and family section.
Facebook is contemplating segregating the news feed into two parts – one showing live updates from friends and families while the other will show commercial content pertaining to those topics the user has liked or has shown interest in.
However, the above is still far from being set in stone. Rather, the new news feed layout is being tested in a small scale in smaller countries spread across the world. Those include Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia, and Sri Lanka.
There is no surety either if the new layout for the news feed will become the norm. Facebook often runs such tests and not all of them ever get implemented. Nonetheless, splitting of the news feed into two does make for an interesting proposition.
The biggest benefit will, of course, be that the news feed will be better organized. As of now, updates from friends along with commercial content, news and advertisements are all jostling for space and user’s attention at the same time. The new design will, therefore, make it easier to keep tab of things along both the segments – friends and family as well as those related to businesses.
Splitting the news feed is also believed to open up new streams of generating ad revenue for Facebook. With commercial feeds relegated to a separate section altogether, businesses might be asked to pay for their feeds to appear in the friends and family section that runs a better chance of being seen by the user.
As it is, Facebook’s news feed has often been the center of many a controversy given the alarming regularity with which fake news have often made to the news feed. Objectionable videos that are considered inappropriate for viewing of all have also made it to the news feed quite often. Worse still, those have remained there for even up to 24 hours in some cases even after being reported.
Facebook though hasn’t stated if the move to separate the news feed will have to do with the actual content that is depicted. Paid promotions too seem to have remained immune to the changes introduced as they continue to be included in the section under friends and family.
However, things aren’t as flourishing for the non-subscribers and have reported far fewer user interactions in the form of likes, shares, and comments than what it was with the older style of a news feed. Naturally, this could turn out to be a tacit ploy to force companies to pay to ensure their posts or ads gets featured in the friends and family section. In other words, Facebook could be seen turning the friends and family section a premium space for businesses to showcase their services, products, information or news.