FACEBOOK has added a second “News Feed” with zero posts from friends or family.
It’s called Facebook News, and is supposed to make it easier to find actual news.
Facebook News is entirely separate from your regular news feedCredit: Facebook
That means it’s free from photos of your pal’s new baby – or your cousin’s weird memes.
Facebook News entered testing last year and rolled out in the US in June.
But it’s now live in the UK – the first country outside the US to get it.
The section lives in a new tab, and will show you top headlines and stories of the day.
These will be personalised to your interests, based on your Facebook usage habits.
“Facebook News was built to bring people closer to the stories that impact their lives and the community around them,” said Facebook’s Jesper Doub.
You can share stories, hide publishers, or save an article to read later onCredit: Facebook
“The product is a multi-year investment that puts original journalism in front of new audiences
“As well as providing publishers with more advertising and subscription opportunities to build sustainable businesses for the future.”
Facebook says that during “major news cycles”, you’ll see timely news digests with “original and authoritative” reporting on the biggest stories of the day.
At launch, a collection of Covid-specific stories will be highlighted.
You’ll also see news articles shared by your friends or pages you follow – but not personal posts.
Facebook is using a team of journalists to identify important news for the Today’s Stories feature with Facebook News.
This is being curated by Upday, a joint venture between a German publisher and Samsung.
Publishers are being paid for their featured content – though not all news organisations are part of the scheme.
Deals struck with Facebook are being kept private, and may vary between publishers.
“It’s an extremely large investment and it’s something we’ve done over multiple years,” said Facebook’s Sarah Brown.
The bill is expected to run into the millions or even tens of millions for Facebook’s news division.
You’ll see curated news stories personalised to your own interestsCredit: Facebook
Facebook News partners – who’s on board in the UK?
The list of outlets and publishers includes…
- Channel 4 News
- Daily Mail Group
- DC Thomson
- Financial Times
- Sky News
- Telegraph Media Group
- The Economist
- The Guardian
- The Independent
- JPI Media
- Midlands News Assocation
There’ll be automated personalisation that selects stories based on the news you read, share and follow.
Facebook has added Topic Sections that let you “dive deeper” into areas like business, entertainment, health, science & tech, and sports.
The Your Subscriptions area will be for people who have linked their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account.
And controls are also available to let you hide articles, topics and publishers that you don’t want to see.
There’s also a local news section, to help people find stories about their area from smaller publications.
Facebook has previously been criticised for not giving users news from a broad-enough spectrum of viewpoints.
Now Facebook says that its curators will have “editorial independence”, choosing stories based on publicly available guidelines.
Content from local and independent publishers and journalists will be included, as well as major news organisations.
In other news, a bizarre Facebook bug logged iPhone users off the app.
Beware the sinister Facebook scam that could cost you and your pals £400 each.
And a bungled WhatsApp privacy update has caused “millions of users to flee the Facebook-owned app”.
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