In a new test, Facebook has started promoting links to other sites in a “Links you may like” feature.
The post, which has a carousel design that you can scroll through horizontally, contains several articles, each with an explanation above it, such as “Based on pages you follow” or “Because you follow ‘Techmeme.’” Share and Save buttons are underneath each article, along with a down arrow that leads to an option to hide the individual article. Interestingly, there are no ads sprinkled between articles.
Clicking on the article itself, or the headline, caption, or source, brings you to the article, not a page on Facebook’s website. I’ve only come across the feature on desktop, so it’s not certain that Facebook would display a fast-loading Instant Article on mobile in case it were available.
As you can with other posts on Facebook, you can click the down arrow in the top right corner of this new type of post to hide it from your News Feed and see fewer posts like it.
Facebook confirmed the test. “People have told us they’d like more options on Facebook to discover videos, links and other updates that are relevant for them. So we’re testing a new News Feed story that lets you scroll sideways to view new updates you might find interesting,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
This comes as Facebook takes steps to cut down on clickbait articles in the News Feed. Facebook also promotes news articles in its Trending news module, which was the subject of a political controversy.
Some people have tweeted about the new feature in the past few weeks, and not all of the feedback has been positive.
Facebooks Links You May Like:
Yeah, Ummm, how about a big FUCK NO!!!
— Vickie Lesperance (@VickiLesperance) June 28, 2016
Facebook has started displaying ”Links you may like” (none of which I do) in my feed. It has a Hide button that does nothing. Brilliant…
— Tuomas Hämäläinen (@tuomas_h) July 28, 2016
Facebook listed an article titled "Why Voting for Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice" under "Links you may like".
Um, HELL NO?
— TKD 117 (@TKD_117) July 30, 2016
FB so: Links you may like: Johann Gudenus
Ich so: Tab schließen!
— Neuromancer (@duckevara) July 31, 2016
ik HAAT "Links you may like" van @Facebook… en ik krijg geen enkele suggestie uit mn newsfeed verwijderd. %^&*()!!!
— jesca (@_tantejess) August 2, 2016
At least for me, the recommended links aren’t completely irrelevant, although I had already seen some of the information elsewhere online. It would have been nice to see comments below, but they’re not visible in the current implementation of “Links you may like.”