by Audrey Conklin
Facebook officially rolled out its Facebook News tab Friday to a select number of U.S. users, according to a blog post.
The tech giant will feature news from different outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, FOX News, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Condé Nast, NBC News, ABC News, Bloomberg Media, BuzzFeed News, and Business Insider, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Journalism is important for our democracy and for making progress on issues together,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Friday Facebook post.
“But the internet has disrupted the traditional business model for news, so I believe the major internet services have a responsibility to partner with news publishers to build sustainable long-term models to fund this important work. I hope our work honors and supports the contribution journalists make to our society,” he continued.
I've been talking to news publishers and journalists for a few years about how we can do more to support high quality journalism on Facebook. Today, I'm excited to announce what we've been working on together: Facebook News. It's a new tab dedicated to high quality news and personalized to your interests. Our goal is to feature publishers covering a range of topics like science, entertainment and politics. We're launching it today starting in the US. Journalism is important for our democracy and for making progress on issues together. But the internet has disrupted the traditional business model for news, so I believe the major internet services have a responsibility to partner with news publishers to build sustainable long-term models to fund this important work. I hope our work honors and supports the contribution journalists make to our society. I'll discuss this live with News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Tune in then to learn more.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, October 25, 2019
The service will curate news for specific users in a tab on Facebook’s app for about 200,000 users starting Friday, WSJ reported.
Facebook News will give users “more control” over the stories they see and highlight the most relevant stories of the day, according to the Facebook blog post. News articles shared or posted by users’ friends will still be available for people to see on their Facebook News Feed dashboards, according to the blog post.
“It’s a big step forward that Facebook is investing in trust and quality by licensing content from news publishers for the first time,” USA Today President Maribel Wadsworth said, according to WSJ.
The new feature also aims to give a voice to smaller and local journalists from publications in major U.S. metro areas including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta and Boston.
To do this, the social media site will rely on an algorithm for the majority of its personally curated news but admits it has “progress to make before we can rely on technology alone to provide a quality news destination,” according to the blog post.
Facebook News will also work with its team of “curation experts,” made up of “seasoned journalists” with “editorial independence,” as well as an algorithm, to build the Today’s Stories section of the News tab, which will look the same to everyone.
Publishers will have to follow Facebook’s Publisher Guidelines to be considered for the News tab. These guidelines include rules regarding misinformation as set by the tech giant’s third-party, independent fact-checkers.
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Audrey Conklin is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Mark Zuckerberg” by Mark Zuckerberg.