Facebook Is Testing A "Discover" Section Of Its News Feed

Photo: Left, Courtesy Facebook. Right, Courtesy Refinery29.
Photo: Courtesy Refinery29
It looks like Facebook is testing a new version of its News Feed. Instead of opening the app to a single feed, where friends' photos, posts, sponsored posts, and ads flow in one somewhat-chronological stream, Android app screenshots show a new News Feed split into two sections: a News Feed and a Discover Feed.

The News Feed section is exactly what you're used to: a mix of everything shared by your Facebook friends. The Discover Feed, however, only shows published content, a mix of sponsored and non-sponsored articles your friends have shared. These posts look exactly the same as they would in your normal News Feed. So, if your friend Taylor Swift shared a story, it says, "Taylor Swift shared a link" at the top of the post.

This seems to be a streamlined version of a News Feed layout we saw shared back in April, which sectioned off the News Feed into areas for World & U.S. News, Sports, Food, and other topics. Being labeled Discover, though, it's a slightly different approach.

"People have told us they'd like new ways to keep up with their friends, so we're testing new feeds to more easily navigate to stories from your friends," a Facebook spokesperson told Refinery29 via email.

Most other social media apps already have discover sections, where you can find new content and people to follow: Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat all have discover areas of their apps. But while Facebook has embraced following brands, celebrities, and media personalities on the social network, it hasn't offered a singular hub where you can see that content and find new things you might be interested in. From the screenshots we've seen, though, it seems like Facebook's (early) version of a Discover feed focuses not just on pulling in new content you might be interested in reading or watching, but also pieces your friends have shared.
Photo: Courtesy Refinery29.
Facebook has shown interest in introducing you to new things in the past, though — just more with regards to people, groups, and events. For example, in April, Facebook introduced a Discover section for Groups.

Updated 7 PM with comment from Facebook.

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