Marketing 4 min read

What You Should Know Before Signing Up For Facebook News

Image courtesy of ahmad agung wijayanto |

Image courtesy of ahmad agung wijayanto |

We’ve heard rumors about the release of Facebook News for a while now. Now, the social media giant says its official. Publishers in the U.S. can now sign up to appear in a dedicated News tab.

So, why is the social media network investing in this journalistic venture? And, why did it create new guidelines for publishers?

Facebook has played a significant role in delivering news to its 2.4 billion users. However, the company has struggled recently as a non-traditional media company.

The platform’s lack of guidelines for news posting, combined with its free access, lead to a fake news rampage. Unfortunately, some publishers soon posted stories that misinformed readers.

Admittedly, the social networking site has made efforts to limit the spread of fake news on its platform.

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These include:

  • Adding third-party fact-checking on highly shared stories
  • Launching a Page Information feature to provide insight into who’s behind a post
  • Publishing new tips and tools to help users detect and report fake news

By introducing Facebook News, the company is finally releasing guidelines for publishing news on its platform. This comes amid the immense pressure the company is under to do something about the spread of Fake News.

This move also comes in the middle of the debate on whether platforms should be responsible for regulating content.

What is Facebook News?

The social media behemoth introduced Facebook News as a dedicated place for its platform users to access the latest news. Facebook essentially partnered with the journalism industry to deliver news to its audience.

Users will have control over what they see. They’ll also be able to explore a broader range of news interest right within the app.

What’s more, the app will highlight the most relevant national stories of the day for easy access.

For now, Facebook is testing this feature in the United States only. The rest of the world will have to wait for the results of this test before Facebook will roll it out in other countries.

Who is Facebook News For?

On the user side, any user can take advantage of Facebook News. On the publisher side, independent publishers or a news media outlet are eligible. Facebook says it wants to encourage a “new form of journalism.”

Executives at the social media company wrote in their announcement:

We also aim to serve both people and news publishers, and not just the big national players. We want new forms of journalism in the digital age, including individual, independent journalism, to flourish.”

With this in mind, Facebook News has five essential features:

  1. Today’s Stories
  2. Personalization
  3. Topic Section
  4. Your Subscription
  5. Controls

A team of journalists will select the news that’ll pop up in “Today’s Stories” instead of an algorithm. Meanwhile, the Personalization section covers the news that users read, share, and follow.

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The Topic Section allows users to delve deeper into specific interests such as Business, Sports, or Entertainment. Also, users that linked Facebook’s paid news subscription with their Facebook account can access their news under Your Subscription.

Finally, Controls allow users to hide articles, topics, and publishers that they don’t want to see.

Which Publishers Are Eligible Under the New Guidelines?

According to Facebook, publishers that meet the industry standards are eligible for Facebook News. Aside from citing sources for information, such publishers must:

  1. Report current event or timely information
  2. Publish original content
  3. Provide transparent information about the reporter of the published content
  4. Include time stamp on published content

The guidelines also stated that publishers must submit their news Pages to confirm identity as well as domain ownership. In addition, the pages must be active in the last 90 days to be eligible for inclusion in the news Page index.

While the guideline allows advertising in a post, Facebook stated that promotional content must not exceed the amount of news.

Should You Signup For Facebook News?

Facebook News seems to be a win-win situation for all the parties involved.

It provides the social media giant with an opportunity to grow its audience while giving users access to a legitimate source of news. Meanwhile, publishers can gain more subscribers and maintain a subscription model.

Read More: Facebook Develops a Face De-Identification Technology for Videos

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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