Facebook announced this morning it will begin testing a new experience for discovering businesses in its News Feed in the U.S. When live, users tap on topics they’re interested in underneath posts and ads in their News Feed to explore related business content. The change comes at a time when Facebook has been arguing how Apple’s App Tracking Transparency update will impact its small business customers — a claim many have dismissed as misleading, but nevertheless led some mom and pop shops to express concern about the impacts to their ad targeting capabilities, as a result. This new test is an example of how easily Facebook can tweak its News Feed to build out more data on its users if needed.
The company suggests users may see the change under posts and ads from businesses selling beauty products, fitness, or clothing, among other things. The idea here is that Facebook would direct users to related firms through a News Feed feature when they take a specific action to discover related content. This, in turn, could help Facebook create a new set of data on its users, in terms of which users clicked to see more and what sort of businesses they engaged with, among other things.
Over time, it could turn this feature into an ad unit, if desired, where businesses could pay for higher placement. “People already discover businesses while scrolling through News Feed, and this will make it easier to discover and consider new businesses they might not have found on their own,” the company noted in a brief announcement. Facebook didn’t detail its further plans with the test but said as it learned from how users interacted with the feature, it will expand the experience to more people and businesses.