Beginning Monday, January 25, 2021 news media companies such as the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Financial Times will appear in a dedicated Facebook feed.
The UK launch of the Facebook News service marks the first region outside the United States. Readers can only access the news feed via their Facebook app — news feeds can’t be accessed from a web browser. Facebook has partnerships with Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, the Economist, Financial Times, The Guardian, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group, and hundreds of local sites. Some publishers have signed seven-figure deals with Facebook.
News UK – which publishes the Times, the Sunday Times, and the Sun has not initially signed on with Facebook News, and has a deal with Apple News.
The top three players in the news feed landscape are Apple News, Facebook and Google News.
The social media company said Facebook News was intended to “support the industry in building sustainable business models”, but analysts believe the action is a pre-emptive strike aimed at discouraging wider international regulation of the news media market. Facebook is accused of being a monopoly while gaining a stranglehold on the digital ad market. Facebook is facing scrutiny in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Australia in addition to the United States.
Facebook’s “curation team” select stories of the day, while other stories algorithmically selected according to a user’s interests will also appear. Conservatives are not happy with Facebook this election season after censorship, especially regarding the Hunter Biden MacBook scandal and investigation that was suppressed by Facebook before the November presidential election
Facebook is also attempting to address the social media company’s reputation as a responsible platform in an era of unreliable sources and fake news.
Facebook launched “Today In” as a local news aggregator in 2018 after testing the news feed in 400 small to medium-sized cities in the United States.
Facebook has also been testing Local Alerts with 100 local government and first responder Pages that can be issued to inform citizens about urgent issues or emergencies.
If this seems confusing, you’re probably not alone because Facebook turned its nose on news content and announced it was focusing on content share by friends in 2018. Business pages and news media sources complained that they weren’t getting as much exposure to readers — their content being downranked or “shadow banned” while they were being encouraged to advertise their content on Facebook.
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