Facebook has announced that it will be introducing a dedicated space for national and local news in January 2021. Known as Facebook News, the Mark Zuckerberg-led social networking site has revealed that this latest initiative will pay publishers for content that is not already on the platform, help publishers reach new audiences and bring more advertising and subscription opportunities.
According to Facebook, The first group of publishers featured in Facebook News in the UK includes Archant, Conde Nast, The Economist, ESI Media, Guardian Media Group, Hearst, Iliffe, JPI Media, Midland News Association, Reach, STV and others.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at The Independent, from moving to digital-only in 2016, to becoming Britain’s largest quality digital news brand, with an average monthly global audience of 101m unique browsers. We are delighted to extend The Independent’s longstanding strategic partnership with Facebook through the UK launch of Facebook News, helping to bring high-quality and trustworthy news to its UK users,” said Zach Leonard, Chief Executive, The Independent commented.
On the other hand, David Higgerson, Chief Audience Officer at Reach PLC (150 news brands including The Mirror, the Express, Daily Star, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, Bristol Post and Daily Record), said, “We welcome the introduction of the Facebook News Tab in the UK as a sign of Facebook’s commitment to ensuring that accurate, well-researched journalism is given prominence on its platform.”
Moreover, it was revealed that Facebook News provides a mix of curated and customised top stories to deliver informative, reliable and relevant news. Facebook News provides timely news digests to help people discover new topics and stories on the basis of the news they read, share and follow.
Asserting that Facebook is committed to supporting news organisations as they adapt to the changing digital world, an official blog post notified, “We are delighted to have so many partners working with us at this early stage. We’re in active negotiations to bring Facebook News to France and Germany as well, and we will continue to work with publishers in countries where market conditions and regulatory environments invite this kind of investment and innovation.”
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the importance of reliable and authoritative local news has become more important than ever before. For the past two years, Facebook has trained 80 journalists across the UK covering communities traditionally underserved by news media through the $6M/£4.5M Community News Programme (CNP).
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