Sunday, April 14, 2024

Meta is deprecating Facebook News in the US and Australia, as it has done in Europe


Hands holding newspapers in the air

Meta has announced that it is killing off the Facebook News tab in the United States as well as Australia. The company says that the decision has been taken because it believes “that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content”.

The Facebook News tab is set to be removed in April, and Meta says that it will be focusing “time and resources on things people tell us they want to see more of on the platform, including short form video”. The dedicated tab for news has already been deprecated in France, Germany and the UK.

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Meta says that the number of people using Facebook News has plummeted by 80 percent in the last year. The company also shares the statistic that “news makes up less than 3 percent of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed”, describing it as “a small part of the Facebook experience for the vast majority of people”.

Having previously committed to supporting news organizations, Meta’s volte-face comes after increasing interest from regulators. The company says to people in the US and Australia:

While we’ll be deprecating Facebook News in these countries, this announcement does not impact the terms under our existing Facebook News agreements with publishers in Australia, France and Germany. These deals have already expired in the US and the UK. Additionally, to ensure that we continue to invest in products and services that drive user engagement, we will not enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in these countries and will not offer new Facebook products specifically for news publishers in the future.

Meta says that it will continue to work with third-party fact-checkers to ensure that news shared on Facebook is “reliable”.

Image credit: serezniy / depositphotos

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