Facebook has introduced a new feature called Facebook News in select US cities. With this feature, the company aims to provide, specially curated, news stories directly on its app.
According to the press release by the company, Facebook was in talks with the journalists and news organisations, to gather insights from them.
Currently, the service has been launched in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta and Boston and the company is planning to include the local news from its local news tab
Key features of Facebook News
- Today’s Stories: A section which, according to the company, will be chosen by a team of journalists to keep you up to date with the news throughout the day.
- Personalisation: So that you will see the news that you like the most. This will be based on the news that you read, share and follow. (Ad-targeting vibes anyone?).
- Topic Sections: Choose from a variety of topics including business, entertainment, health, science and technology and sports.
Apart from that, there will be a section of Your Subscriptions where you can manage the paid subscriptions. Facebook will also provide the options so that you can hide certain publishers, news and articles that you do not want to see.
Also, the news organisations have some concerns regarding the nature of the news personalisation. The organisations have argued that the algorithm will not be able to recognise quality news. Thus, Facebook has also decided to work on its algorithm.
How is Facebook selecting news publishers?
Currently, Facebook will include four categories of publishers — General, Topical, Diverse and Local. As per the company, the news publishers will have to satisfy the following criteria to get featured on Facebook News.
- The publishers will have to register in the News Page Index of Facebook.
- They will have to abide by Facebook’s Publisher Guidelines which contains several points.
- Lastly, the news publisher should have a broad audience.