Facebook splits its news feed into Home and Feeds to prioritize high-value formats
Facebook is making changes to its news feed, with the launch of a tab dedicated to friends and family content.
The new Home and Feeds tabs as visualized on Android devices
Advertisers will be able to buy inventory on the new Feeds tab, which will be a curated list that features the most recent posts from friends, groups and pages that users follow.
The tab was first launched to a section of the overall Facebook audience, and is expected to be rolled out globally over the next week.
The release accompanying the launch acknowledges that how Facebook users choose to engage with different types of content has evolved. As a result, the company states that as the Home tab becomes “more of a discovery engine for you to find and follow new content and creators through recommendations,” the Feeds tab will instead only show content related to people and groups the user is already connected with.
Despite those changes and the absence of any suggested posts within Feeds, ads will be included in the new tab.
The newly-named Home tab, by contrast, is where Facebook will attempt to source new content that the user might not have been introduced to before. It will also allow users to share Reels and Stories, and see what other connections are sharing.
This is not the first time that Facebook has sought to adjust the amount of content from friends and family in its news feed. In 2016 the company blamed context collapse – a lack of relevancy of the posts users saw – for its users sharing less. As a result, it amended the amount of news content its users saw within the feed.
Over the past few months Facebook has similarly been shifting the proportion of content it serves within its feed. As part of its long-running conflict with news publishers, it recently adjusted the amount of news content within its feed down, as part of a long-held desire to untangle its complicated relationship with newspapers.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, according to an internal memo, Meta is reallocating resources from its Facebook News tab and newsletter platform Bulletin as the company focuses more on the creator economy.
To that end the redefinition of the Home tab as being primarily for discovery makes sense. As the new destination for Reels and influencer content, the company will be hoping that it can retain audiences who might otherwise leave for competitor platforms. In its first-quarter results Facebook’s parent company Meta noted it was adjusting its revenue expectations downward, and founder Mark Zuckerberg told investors he expected a sharp slowdown in the face of increased headwinds.
Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox also wrote that the company was placing much of its hope for the year in Reels, explaining the format’s prominence in the Home tab.
Meanwhile, the Feeds tab will allow users to avoid the context collapse that comes with friends appearing in the standard news feed. As the social media giant reported a drop in average user numbers for the first time earlier in the year, the need to retain users and appease advertisers is becoming more acute.