Facebook recently spoke with Axios, revealing a number of plans to promote news outlets on its platform including the creation of a “News Tab” featuring outlets handpicked by Facebook, changing how millions of people receive news.
Axios reports that social media giant Facebook has new plans aimed at helping handpicked news outlets on its platform and will be hiring a number of seasoned journalists to curate a planned “News Tab” feature. The news tab is reportedly an effort by Facebook to restore some credibility to the site’s news feed which it believes has become inundated with fake news and clickbait.
Facebook plans to personalize the News Tab meaning it will require a vast amount of content on a wide range of topics for users. The new venture is reportedly part of a personal project by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to improve the company’s relationship with publishers which have previously accused social media of destroying their business models and stealing content.
Facebook will reportedly be paying dozens of publishers in order to license content for the News Tab and news from many other sources will be included. The largest partners in the project will be paid millions of dollars a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook representatives have stated that they would be willing to pay as much as $3 million a year to license headlines and article previews from news outlets, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, stated recently that: “Our goal with the News tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience … The majority of stories people will see will appear in the tab via algorithmic selection.” The company will reportedly be employing a small team of journalists to curate the Top News section.
Facebook ended its Trending Topics feature last year after being accused of bias, a Facebook executive commented on this stating: “We learned a lot from Trending. This is a completely different product.” The entire Facebook Trending News team was fired in 2016 following an investigation by Breitbart News which revealed an extreme level of bias from members of the team. A former Facebook employee stated that 90 percent of the Trending Topics team was liberal and that Breitbart News received extra scrutiny. The Trending Topics feature continued for some time, run solely by an algorithm.