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Facebook ends news feed test

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The new Explore Feed feature shown on the screen of a smart phone. KT/Mai Vireak

After five months of trials, Facebook announced on Thursday that it will end the “Explore Feed” feature in the six countries where it was being tested, a decision that has been applauded by the local business community.

In October last year, Facebook rolled out the “Explore Feed” feature, a new version of its News Feed that separates professional news sites from what people normally see and relegates them to a new section of Facebook called Explore.

Cambodia was one of the six countries serving as a testing ground for the feature.

However, the change wasn’t welcomed by the country’s business community, with a great number of companies saying it was damaging traffic to their website and hampering orders.

In Cambodia, Facebook is a key advertising tools for businesses across all sectors. With a total of 4.8 million users recorded in 2017, amounting to a whopping 1.4 million growth year-on-year, it is the social media platform of choice for Cambodians.

“Today, we’re ending the Explore Feed,” announced Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed, in a statement posted on Facebook.

“We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes – like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs – work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t and we drop them.

With the Explore Feed now officially out of the equation, DAP Media Center, a local communications firm, expects the number of visitors to its page to go back to pre-October levels.

“It is a good thing that they finish the test,” said Soy Rithy, chief technician at DAP. “We expect now to recover the lost traffic.”

Mr Rithy explained that during the five-month period while the new feature was being tested, they saw a 40 percent decrease in visitors to their website.

Ly Gech, owner of store Men Fashion, shared the same sentiment.

“I don’t know how much of it was due to Facebook’s new feature, but I can tell you that I experience a decline in both page views and orders since they launched it,” Ms Gech said.

Ms Gech explained that she relays heavily on the social media site to advertise her business and receive orders from customers.

“I hope now page views and order will pick up again.”

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