While social networks originally were meant to connect with friends, colleagues, and random people, a lot of people have been using it to get their news fix. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of dubious and fake sites propagating on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook launched a new Facebook News portal in the U.S and now they’re expanding to their first international market – the U.K. They announced that they have started rolling it out to users in the region, partnering with hundreds of leading national, local, and lifestyle outlets.
Users in the U.K. will be able to access Facebook News through a new tab in the Facebook mobile app. You get to see the top news stories and headlines as well as the news that has been personalized based on your interests. They will also give you timely news digests during major news cycles, like now with COVID-19 stories from authoritative sources. You have control over what stories you can see in the news tab but you’ll also continue to see news articles in your main feed, specifically the ones shared by your friends and pages you follow.
The Facebook News section has several key features. Today’s Stories is curated by a team of journalists to help you keep up with important news during the day. The personalisation feature is of course very important as you’ll be able to see news based on what you read, share, and follow, giving you new things to follow every time. You also get news sections so you can access news on business, entertainment, health, science, tech, and sport. Most importantly, you have control over what you want to see or not to see when it comes to articles, topics, or publishers.
Facebook has partnered with several news organizations in the U.K, including The Economist, The Guardian, The Independent, STV and hundreds of local news sites from Archant, Iliffe, JPI Media, Midlands News Association and Reach as well as lifestyle outlets such as GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue, etc. Those have been previously announced but now they’re also adding new partners including Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group.
Facebook News is currently available only in the U.S. and the U.K. But they did announce that they’re in active negotiation with partners in France and Germany. They also emphasized that in order to bring this to more countries, they need to work with countries where the “regulatory environments invite this kind of investment and innovation.”