Facebook will reportedly launch 'news' tab on Friday
Facebook plans to launch a dedicated "news" tab that will offer its users access to news stories from hundreds of news organizations, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The move returns Facebook to the news-delivery business, putting it in competition with Apple and Google.
This is a move Facebook has been exploring and talking about for a while. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that the social network had approached news outlets, including ABC News, Dow Jones, The Washington Post and Bloomberg, and offered to pay as much as $3 million to license content for its news tab.
Facebook, along with Twitter and other social networks, have been stepping up their efforts to combat the spread of fake news on their platforms after facing criticism for not doing enough. A study earlier this year by the Pew Research Center found 60% of US adults who prefer getting news through social media said they had shared false information.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to preview the announcement during his testimony Wednesday before the House Committee on Financial Services.
"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," Zuckerberg said in response to a question about Facebook's responsibility in the realm of media literacy.
"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."
Last year, Facebook abandoned an idea to separate users' news feeds into two feeds: one for personal posts from friends and family, and another one called the "Explore Feed," for brands, publishers and other businesses. Zuckerberg said at the time that the news feed would shift its focus to personal posts from family and friends, and away from viral videos and news stories. When it did show you news stories, the company said it would prioritize local news outlets that Facebook users have deemed more trustworthy.
In April, Facebook outlined new steps to stop misinformation, scams and other "problematic" content from going viral on the platform, with some of the changes applying to private Facebook groups.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that Zuckerberg plans to meet Friday with News Corp CEO Robert Thomson to discuss journalism in the digital age. Facebook News will also be a topic of discussion.
The company spokesperson confirmed Zuckerberg will unveil the new product at a New York City event Friday that will focus on "journalism in the digital age." He'll be joined by Robert Thomson, CEO of Rupert
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