The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is approaching major news publishers, hoping to secure licensing deals that republish stories and other news material. The deal could amount to millions of dollars per publisher, with Facebook providing licensing rights for certain outlets of up to 3 million dollars per year.
According to the study, Facebook plans to include these articles on its launch earlier this autumn as part of the dedicated news segment. In some cases, publishers are signing deals that last for three years and they can control how articles appear on Facebook and whether readers are sent to a website only snippets like a headline and some text. The conditions suggested contrasted with Apple’s attitude to Apple’s new magazine-focused subscription service, Apple News Plus, with a questionable income share and allegedly bad payouts, which has received numerous warning media outlets against the commitment of Silicon Valley to the news company.
However, the outcome of effective Facebook courting could be a resurgence of the huge quantity of Facebook referral traffic to news editors and media businesses before it started downgrading news content websites and other non-individual formats a few years ago. Facebook confirmed after the WSJ article that it was actually launching a fresh dedicated news tab this autumn.
The push is an evolution of the news strategy of Facebook, which most lately saw Facebook promote local content and intend to transfer publishers into a distinct feed in its mobile app. Earlier attempts included dealing with editors to generate video for their Facebook Live platform, dealing with media and entertainment firms to author content and generate original content for their Watch platform, and an unpleasant Instant Articles platform, which Facebook once expected would become a dominant news story norm.
In December last year, Facebook appeared to be retreating into its relationship with the editors, Campbell Brown, the head of media partnerships, telling them to leave the platform if they didn’t like it, and the business is cutting down on news financing. A few months before Brown’s declaration, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Empire News Corporation, called on Facebook and Google to subsidize the news business efficiently after the algorithm-driven mess had been destroyed and replaced by it.
Overall, the connection between Facebook and the news industry has been extremely controversial. As it started to attract astronomical daily use, Facebook siphoned away news websites with eyeballs and ad dollars. In addition to Google, Facebook now controls a majority of the US digital marketing sector, capturing massive amounts of online advertising income from journals, magazines and digital media businesses over the last century or so.
Facebook, in turn, was also a place where publishers hoped to attract fresh and existing readers in unprecedented quantities. It was true for a while that Facebook became a significant source of traffic for all media businesses around the world. The whims of the algorithms driving the Facebook News Feed have become very important for leading media trends, such as the early 2010’s increase in clickbait.
But just as Facebook showed that it can capture and send an audience wherever it likes, it can take it back. When the business started to experience problems with younger consumers leaving the platform, the type of material released by websites was prioritized. Instead, it decided to promote the contents of friends and family in the hopes of preventing consumers from flocking to new, more engaging social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram. This resulted in a number of media firms being pulled out of the ground, many of which were made redundant owing to the steep drop in the traffic and video view.
Now Facebook seems ready to try out the news again, even if this time in seemingly friendly terms. In the midst of years of debate about its inability to take into account its impact on society and how poor performers have manipulated its platform. And now, the firm intends to take publishers back in the hope that they can restore themselves as destinations for good news and real debate.
The problem, of course, is the widespread misinformation, false news and voting interference over recent years that have often made Facebook untrustworthy for your moment online. (Not to mention the numbers of privacy scandals that have eroded users ‘ confidence and drive the platform’s executives to supervise the platform.) Whether it’s propaganda bots or digital detritus that fills the news feed with junk you don’t want from individuals or from websites you’re not interested in, Facebook has turned into a digital yearbook and Rolodex for junk, a digital yearbook. Whether or not the same users are ready to get their news on Facebook is an open question.
What will come of this renewed attempt to bring court publishers back to Facebook is also unclear, but its large money reserves are clearly seen as the key to getting reporters back to the table.