Facebook's news feed can appear in various ways, but it's usually just these two: either an entertaining cesspool of clickbait articles, unsolicited selfie shots, with a smattering of funny viral videos thrown in for good measure; or a depressing tar pit filled to the brim with hate speeches, propaganda, and fake news.
Both are depressing places to have to scroll through, and while Facebook has done its best to perfect the algorithm that decides what ultimately appears on a news feed, users don't always see the content they'd like to see. Thankfully, there's now a decent alternative to this bumbling mess.
Facebook Explore Feed: What Is It All About?
It's called the Explore Feed, and while it's been a solid feature on the mobile Facebook app for a while now, it's only now coming to the web version. First spotted by The Next Web's Matt Navarra, Facebook has now confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is rolling out to desktop users. To visit the Explore Feed, check the "see more" section found in Facebook's left sidebar and click the "Explore Feed," the one with the rocket ship icon.
Explore Feed shows posts Facebook thinks users might like based on their tastes and what's generally popular. It pulls in content from sources a user isn't following yet, including pages, publishers, content creators, and organizations.
How does Facebook choose what to show? Well, TechCrunch notes the algorithm behind Explore Feed doesn't just pick content randomly. Instead, things that appear in it might be similar to posts users already liked in the past, and those that are popular among their friends.
What Facebook Aims To Do With Its Explore Feed
The upshot here is to make sure users never run out of things to see on Facebook, of course. In turn, it allows Facebook to serve more ads in between posts and different types of media. Essentially, it's an alternative second-tier newsfeed that effectively parallels a user's interests — and more importantly — yet another area Facebook could also monetize.
It doesn't appear Explore Feed features advertising — at least for now, but they're highly likely going to be a huge part of it.
The Explore Feed has been in testing for quite some time, having gained an official rocket ship icon earlier this year. When asked previously about the future of the feed, Facebook said that it was just a test. But with the rollout finally happening, Facebook users can now access an alternative news feed if their own feed sucks.
"We've heard from people that they want an easy way to explore relevant content from Pages they haven't connected with yet," a Facebook spokesperson said.