tech2 News StaffOct 24, 2019 10:51:34 IST
Facebook is reportedly working to launch a new dedicated News tab on the platform this week.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Facebook will now offer its users access to news stories from hundreds of news organisations, "some of which" will be paid fees for supplying content to the service.
Facebook has been exploring this opportunity for a while now. A report by The Wall Street Journal in August revealed that Facebook had approached news outlets, including ABC News, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, The Washington Post and Bloomberg. According to the report, these news organisations would be paid a licensing fee (as much as $3 million annually) to supply headlines.
A recent report in line with this one revealed that News Corp will also supply headlines for Facebook's News tab.
Furthermore, certain headlines appearing in Facebook's news section will be curated by a team of editors, while others will be selected by the company's algorithm, according to the WSJ report.
Facebook also plans to offer local news sources from the largest markets and, eventually, a digest of local reports within the News tab.
Facebook has reportedly not revealed yet about the news organisations it's teaming up with, however, the plans for the feature have been acknowledged. Facebook is reportedly scheduled to host an event in New York on 25 October, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief executive of News Corp, Robert Thomson, are expected to unveil the “first look at Facebook News.”
Additionally, a report by CNET also reveals that Zuckerberg seemed to have previewed the announcement of Facebook News during his testimony before the US Congress on 23 October. Zuckerberg said:
"Later in this week we actually have a big announcement coming up on launching a big initiative around news and journalism where we're partnering with a lot of folks to build a new product that's supporting high-quality journalism. I think there's an opportunity within Facebook and our services to build a dedicated surface — a tab within the apps, for example — where people who really want to see high-quality, curated news, not just social content, but from high-quality publishers, could go and consume that content."
This isn't the first time Facebook is attempting to bring News to its platform. Its earlier attempts took the form of Instant Articles, which, like Google AMP pages, surfaced News articles in a light, mobile-friendly format hosted on Facebook. The platform inserted ads into these pages and shared the revenue with publishers. And for this format, both Facebook and Google have been criticised in the past for not sharing sufficient ad revenue with publishers.
Given what happened with Facebook’s Live video program earlier, publishers are understandably wary of Facebook’s proposal. Facebook had convinced publishers that video was the way forward, that there would be tremendous traction on the platform, and that revenue would be good. Many publishers believed Facebook and invested heavily in video production. However, the platform failed to take off, which was later followed by allegations that Facebook was artificially boosting figures to make the platform appear successful, many publishers lost money, and many journalists lost their jobs.
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