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Facebook Tests a ‘Pay to Play’ News Feed Model After ‘Explore’ Rollout

Free spots may soon be a thing of the past

Another news feed on Facebook may make publishers’ lives more difficult in the coming year.

After the “Explore” feed rollout a few weeks ago, Facebook has been testing a “pay to play” format in which publishers must pay to keep their content on the regular “News” feed. In Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia, “all posts by pages are moved from newsfeed to Explore Feed,” Dennikn journalist Filip Struhárik said over the weekend in a Medium post

A spokesperson for the social networking service told Mashable the company has “no current plans to roll this out globally,” but will test how people engage with videos and other types of posts “to understand if people like these two different spaces.”

“With all of the possible stories in each person’s feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful,” Facebook’s statement said. “People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.”

It’s unclear how the Explore Feed will impact the current algorithm, which has traditionally been a headache for publishers.