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Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:58 GMT

Facebook Rolls out News Tab in US

Media & Culture

Dominique Vouillemin

Fri, 25 Oct 2019 16:12 GMT

Facebook on Friday October 25th began rolling out its dedicated ‘news tab’ in its latest move to promote journalism with professionally produced content and to dispel its reputation as a platform for misinformation and ‘fake news’, AFP reported.

The news tab will be separate from users’ normal feeds and will include articles from partner news organisations. Facebook will rely on both human curation and algorithmic personalisation.

Facebook News, "gives people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app," Facebook said in a statement.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook has launched this initiative to promote "quality journalism" and to encourage readers to separate professional content from viral hoaxes and highlight "high quality news, not just social content."

"We talked to news organisations about what they'd like to see included in a news tab, how their stories should be presented and what analytics to provide," Facebook vice president for news partnerships Campbell Brown and product manager Mona Sarantakos said in a statement.

The social network has partnered with some 200 news organisations including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CBS News, BuzzFeed, Fox News, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg and Vanity Fair. Facebook is expected to pay some of the contributing news organisations but has yet to give details.

The initial test rollout which will "showcase local original reporting by surfacing local publications from the largest major metro areas across the (US), beginning with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta and Boston."

Facebook will use "algorithmic selection" for the majority of articles and "a curation team" of journalists will select the articles for a section of "today's stories," in its bid to promote better content. Topic sections will include business, entertainment, health, science and technology, and sports.

"My long-term hope for the news business is that more consumers will recognise the difference between quality and chaos and be willing to pay for the good stuff," said Ken Paulson, a former USA Today editor who now heads the Free Speech Centre at Middle Tennessee State University.

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