Facebook’s New Discover Feature Tests UX

Facebook has just released its ‘Discover’ feature to the public, and although it is only available via the mobile app for a select number of users, it seems to be a big step forward in the social network’s user experience.  

A New World to Discover

Facebook’s algorithm for ‘Discover’ has many different factors it takes into account in order to best match the user to new groups. Some of the factors include; location, interests, as well as friends’ interests. When clicking on the ‘Discover’ tab, users will be able to scroll through 25 pre selected categories they may choose to explore. Categories range from sports, to businesses, to science and technology. fb group

The Connected Experience

With every new feature release, Facebook suffers a wave of criticism from users, who seem to be reluctant to change. Every time, users vow to “not play along anymore” and leave, and with the younger crowd moving towards the “competitors” such as Snapchat, new changes seem a bit risky.   But the new “Discover” feature seems different. It is a small change, and it’s clear Facebook’s designers had the user in mind when it was developed.     Some say Facebook’s mission to enhance user experience, which seems to be growing lately, is an attempt to prevent users from jumping ship, but I look at the bottom line –   Facebook’s continued attempt to keep users engaged (and we all remember the F8 announcements) seem to be taking its user experience to a whole new level. With “Discover,” The Social Network has brought another method in which their users can stay more connected and be in more involved in their virtual community.   Do you think Facebook is on the right track? What other features you think they got up their sleeve?
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com