For example, approximately 67% of Americans now get some of their news on social media platforms, up from 62% past year, according to the Pew Research Center.
Overall it is reckoned to account for 22 per cent of the traffic to national newspaper websites (but for some the proportion is far higher).
The new Explore feature is being tested in six countries - Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. This is particularly true regarding Facebook, which operates as a sort of central digital hub for news and discussion for vast swathes of the population, and is so dominant in that role its power is increasingly unchallengeable and frankly sort of terrifying.
In a Medium post entitled "Biggest drop in organic reach we've ever seen", a Slovakian journalist Filip Struharik documented the impact. The test is now operational in six countries as per a statement from the company.
The fact that it's so thoroughly spooking the news-publishing world shows that if anything, the music industry is ahead in understanding and operating within the commercial dynamics of Facebook. Because the United States giant can change its terms whenever it likes in ways that can be devastating for news publishers. Of course, it's been less than a week since Facebook rolled out the changes to these countries, and it's still too early to draw any conclusion. "We now have no plans to roll this test out further", Facebook's head of the News Feed, Adam Mosseri, explained in a post.
The test stemmed from users requesting an easier way to see their friends' updates, which may mean businesses are taking over the standard feed and may need to revamp their social media policies to keep customers and fans.
In his blog post, Facebook's Mosseri insists the company is conducting the test simply because "people tell us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family".
The new system is being trialled in six countries initially but has already brought about a concurrent drop in people's engagement with Facebook Pages.
Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Facebook. However, Pages users do follow still had their best posts appear in their main News Feed.
This may come as some relief to page owners, but to say "we now have no plans" is hardly decisive.
The Explore Feed's goal is to show users posts from people or publishers they don't follow, in hopes that they'll find new stuff they wouldn't otherwise see.