Facebook May Host News Content

Posted by Beth LeValley

Currently, Facebook shares news through links on other publishers’ websites, allowing users to share the links and post them on friends’ walls. In the future, Facebook plans to provide news without any external links. Users will be able to scroll through content featuring large news publishers without waiting for links to load.

facebook logo

In the next few months, it will provide a trial with stories from the New York Times, Buzzfeed and National Geographic.

According to the Facebook Newsroom, there are 1.39 billion Facebook users per month. Allowing these users to directly access publications’ work could not only increase the traffic of the news source but help users access current events more easily.

While it’s possible the original news source could get more site traffic, the news sources that are not on Facebook could lose valuable customers.  The New York Times stated that “the new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data.” This content, including user demographics, what other sites they’ve visited and how often they visit, could instead go to Facebook.

The new format is up for debate, but Facebook seems confident in its new proposal.

In order to entice bigger publishers, Facebook has offered an advertisement that would go with the article from the specific publication. An AOL video cautions news sources of Facebook’s new deal with publications.

With this new format, how do you think it will change the field of journalism? Will Facebook try and take over the publications? Will it benefit society by creating more awareness? Is Facebook simply trying to gain profit, or are they looking for a mutual deal? As journalism students, how could this possibly impact future jobs?

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4 responses to “Facebook May Host News Content

  1. I think the NYT is right, “the new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data.” That being said, what Facebook is doing is a lot more convenient for consumers. You’re either on the Journalists’ side on this, or on the consumers’ side. And as someone who is both, it’s hard to choose. I don’t really have a preference either way, whatever happens. But it’s an interesting evolvement in social media.

    • It’s interesting seeing other publications or news sources warning the New York Times and Buzzfeed about this. I’m sure regular Facebook users (especially the older Facebook users) are excited, but you’re right, it’s weird being on both sides of it. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the news sources that do agree to Facebook’s deal.

  2. One thing that worries me from both a consumer and a journalist standpoint is perceptions of credibility. Even though we already get aggregated news content from a variety of social media websites and even more are moving into hosting news (ie. Snapchat), I feel like having news on a social media site decreases credibility.

    • You’re right, and it does bring up another good point. In consumers’ eyes, it seems like the most credible content comes from the traditional newspapers and magazines, and the least credible information comes from social media. Because so many different social media platforms are implementing new sources, it will be interesting to see if those perceptions change. I would always rather click on a link to the news source’s website rather than read it direct on the social media site– are you the same way?

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