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Facebook are testing a new feature that could send businesses broke

Editors Note: Here Michael and Josh discuss the changes on our podcast here.

Facebook have announced they are trialing a new feature which will separate the content in your News Feed into two separate streams.

The first stream is the Family & Friends feed which is comprised on content from your friends, plus paid Facebook ads. This will be the default stream you will see when you log in.

The second feed is the Explore feed, which is made up of the content published by Pages e.g. Mercedes Benz, The Guardian, Coca-Cola, and you don’t have to follow their pages to be served their content. You will be able to access the Explore feed by selecting this option in the Facebook side-bar.

A spokesperson for Facebook has said the decision was made because, “People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family.”

If Facebook decide to make this change permanent, the true effects are unknown. Marketing Land claim that it could provide some brands the opportunity to reach people who don’t currently engage with them. Also it could help make up for the loss in organic reach that Pages have experienced over the past few years.

On the contrary, medium.com claim that Facebook reach has declined by over 60% for some pages in Slovakia, where a trial of this new feature is currently taking place.

Companies with substantial advertising budgets will most probably not be affected greatly by this change, if they can continue to create sponsored content that people want to consume.

The players that will be affected the most will be the media publishers who don’t have a diverse range of traffic sources and who rely heavily on Facebook to deliver most of their website traffic.

So, could this mean some media publishers are forced out of the market, or are required to scale-down operations? Quite possibly.

And will publishers and brands begin to invest heavier in Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat to reach consumers more easily? Most definitely.

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Written By: Joshua Britt