- Meta will begin phasing out its Facebook News features, a tab in the app’s bookmarks section that spotlights news, in the U.K., France and Germany in early December, according to an organization blog post.
- The change won’t affect users’ ability to view links to news articles on Facebook, and European news publishers will proceed to have the power to post links to their stories and direct users to their web sites, according to the corporate.
- Meta said it would proceed to honor existing Facebook News deals with publishers until they expire. However, the corporate won’t enter into recent business deals for news content, nor will it offer recent Facebook products specifically for news publishers in the longer term.
As a part of Meta’s so-called “12 months of efficiency,” the corporate has continued to reconsider which of its features it prioritizes. Among them, news seems to have little room for opportunity — according to the corporate announcement, news makes up lower than 3% of what people see in their Facebook feeds.
“As an organization, we have now to focus our time and resources on things people tell us they need to see more of on the platform, including short-form video,” the blog post reads. “We know that folks don’t come to Facebook for news and political content – they arrive to connect with people and discover recent opportunities, passions and interests.”
Accordingly, the corporate called the deprecation of its Facebook News product as a way to invest in the services and products its users value most. The company also noted that news organizations can count on other offerings, like its ads system and Reels, its TikTok-lookalike video format, which is now leveraged by greater than three-fourths of Meta’s advertisers, according to the corporate’s Q2 earnings. During the earnings period, Meta saw revenue up 11% year-over-year, an indication that its turnaround plan is starting to show signs of payoff.
While a leaner organization is a significant focus for Meta this 12 months, its latest move also comes amid ongoing pressure for Meta and others to increase their compensation for news publishers. For example, Meta in 2021 temporarily blocked news publishers and barred news-sharing on Facebook in Australia following proposed laws from the Australian government that sought to require platforms like Facebook and Google to pay news publishers for accessing their content. The company more recently blocked news on its Facebook and Instagram platforms for Canadian users in response to an analogous law.
Though its News feature is undergoing a shift, the corporate asserted that its decision to deprecate its news feed in the three European markets won’t affect its work with third-party fact-checkers. The company said it has invested greater than $100 million in fact-checking services since 2016.
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