Apr 04, 2017 11:32 AM EDT
Following the launch of the Snapchat-like feature and the GoFundMe clone, Facebook is at it again. Facebook users have reported the addition of a rocket ship icon in their news feed. It turns out that this icon serves as a gateway to a beta version of a second news feed.
The Phone Arena reports that Facebook has quietly introduced the new rocket ship icon for both the Android and iOS version of the mobile app in the last few weeks. As evidenced by user reactions via Twitter, Facebook users were surprised to find the new icon and most of them have no idea what the rocket ship is all about.
Meanwhile, Facebook has confirmed the introduction of the new feature stating that the social media giant is testing a customized complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos specifically catered to what a user might find interesting. That said, Facebook users whose mobile apps have the updated version including the rocket ship have, from a certain point of view, become unwitting participants for testing the beta version of the second news feed feature.
Facebook is seemingly driven to outperform its competition. The launch of the rocket ship icon follows just mere weeks after the introduction of the Snapchat inspired Facebook Stories and the news revealing the GoFundMe clone feature called Personal Fundraiser.
According to Tech Crunch, the rocket ship icon allows Facebook users to navigate to the second news feed. The beta version of the alternative news feed consists of posts, articles, photos, and videos from sources the users haven't followed or liked. By using an algorithm that tracks the pages the users have already liked, the second news feed would display the similar pages that the users may like or other pages that are popular to the user's friends.
While this second news feed is likely a new way for Facebook to hype-up user interest, quietly launching the new feature by way of a rocket ship just seem a confusing way to do it. A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed that the beta version of the second news feed is now on global testing phase. The spokesperson suggests that the alternative news feed would provide Facebook users "easy ways to explore new content" that the users "haven't connected yet."
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