Facebook Adds a New Explore Tab to Its iOS App

Lynne Hanson
October 20, 2017

Facebook has an alternative to its standard News Feed, and it is one that showcases posts from accounts that are not, in any way, connected to the user. The feature has always been made available to mobile, and it is now rolling out to Facebook's desktop website.

The Explore tab might also open up opportunities for brands to promote sponsored content done in partnership with publishers that matches up with users' past searches and the pages they follow.

On Wednesday, The Next Web's director of social media Matt Navarra found out that the Explore Feed feature of the social networking site has already arrived on Facebook's desktop site. So I had pages for verticals from news organizations that I follow; brands from which I've made purchases; publications I read, but not religiously; some comedy content that I probably would find amusing, but would rather not spend my time on; and, weirdly, a lot of universities.

To access the Explore Feed on desktop, simply go to the "Explore" sidebar on the left-hand side and click "See More". But as Recode wrote in April, the company's introduction of an update that allows you to see "related" articles from other publications under a news post in your feed, "feels like Facebook is, at the very least, acknowledging [the filter bubble] might exist". This lets them discover content beyond the posts made by their friends and the Pages they follow.

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Facebook mobile users are already accustomed to the presence of the Explore Feed, which is Facebook's alternative at the usual News Feed.

Explore Feed does not display random content, however. The longer people spend on site the more ads can be served and greater the chance users will share more content. The content will be based on those topics that you have liked previously or the ones those are popular among your friends. The social media giant's core News Feed product is starting to run out of ad space to the point where cramming any more ads in would likely damage the user experience and turn people off. As of the moment, Explore Feed does not include advertising. Early this year, some users noticed a rocket ship icon on Facebook's interface.

Facebook's Explore Feed is now available on its desktop website.

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