Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg talked about the possibility of a news-oriented tab on Facebook.
According to the recent reports, the social media giant has already entered the talks with publishers. Reports also claim that Facebook is offering around $3 million for the rights of publishing stories in the upcoming news tab. The feature will be initially launched in the US towards the end of the year. A related report from CNBC read, “A dedicated news tab will appear prominently alongside core features like the News feed, Messenger and Watch.”
For the publishing rights, Facebook has approached news agencies like ABC News and The Washington Post and are offering a hefty sum for licensing the content for its news tab. Facebook CEO mentioned that the news section would be free for the users. He also added that Facebook would eventually pay the publishers whose works are featured. Publishers will be independent to either publish stories directly on the Facebook tab or putting previews that will navigate to the original site.
Mark Zuckerberg also wrote a dedicated post that read:
“It’s important to me that we help people get trustworthy news and find solutions that help journalists around the world do their important work.”
Facebook will be outsourcing the news content directly from the publishers. It implies that the social media giant has planned to enter a direct relationship with the news outlets to have the original material published on their news tab. Facebook’s Campbell Brown tweeted that, “Working with the news industry to get Facebook’s News Tab right is our goal and focus this year. Still early days but we are getting tremendous partner feedback on the product. I believe we can provide people on Facebook a better news experience.” A Facebook spokesperson also mentioned that the under-development news tab will share no similarity with already existing, “Today in” section of the social media site. The “Today in” section serves local stories from news agencies in the user’s area.
Apart from introducing a dedicated news tab, Facebook has announced a few other initiatives to support journalism. A plan to invest around $300 million in the local newsrooms is already on the drawing board. They are also planning grants for the people who provide ideas to improve the news quality. Notably, Google which is also the arch-rival of Facebook was criticized for not compensating news organizations for the headlines and story previews surfaced by its search engine. Facebook has already taken WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger under its umbrella, and they are continuously working towards innovative ways to expand their global outreach.