Facebook still represents the largest social network worldwide and is therefore used by many advertisers to promote their products and services. Facebook users however use it mostly to scroll down the News Feed to see new posts from their friends and liked Fan pages. In between they can see sponsored posts – ads. Facebook has been gradually introducing the Explore Feed since the beginning of this year. Its purpose, contrary to the News feed, is to offer users new content that might interest them based on their liked Fan pages.A similar feed is used on Instagram.
However, Slovakia and five other countries (Serbia, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia) have been chosen for a new Facebook experiment. In these countries, Facebook applies different rules. Since 19 October Facebook users can find in their News Feed only friends’ posts and sponsored posts. All Fan pages have been moved to the Explore Feed.
Facebook reacted in their blog that ‘There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore.‘
What have we observed after a few days of its roll out? Considering the fact, that the amount of friends´ posts is not as big as it was combined with Fan page posts, we have decided to compare the results of several campaigns before and after the introduction of Explore Feed test. We assumed that users spend now less time scrolling the News Feed as before since part of their attention and time spent will move to the Explore Feed. During two comparison periods (from 12 till 18 October and 19 till 25 October) we observed significant differences concerning three of our clients:
- For the first client, ad impressions dropped by 29% and reach lowered by 20%. Average cost per 1,000 impressions increased by 41%.
- For the second client, we observed a drop in reach and impressions of 47%. Ad clicks dropped by 10%.
- For our third client, ad impressions decreased by 49% and the cost per 1,000 impressions doubled.
The results show that the division into separate feeds has significantly reduced the proportion of displayed ads in these campaigns.
Therefore when planning your ad placement in the near future we recommend taking into account possible impact decline caused by this change and choosing formats and placements that do not cover only News Feed. We’ve had great results with our placements in the Audience Network which comprises associated Facebook sites and apps, Instant Articles or the very popular Instagram.
We will see what will be the consequences of this experiment over a longer period of time. How will Facebook treat Fan pages that produce high valued content? Will users learn to follow both Feeds equally? Leave us your comment on this recent change.