Due to the positive results of the initial launch of its dedicated News tab in the US last year, then expanding the option to the UK in January. Actually, Facebook has now announced the next stage for Facebook News, with the additional tab to roll-out in Germany this May.
According to Facebook: “Today we announced early partnerships with publishers that represent more than 100 editorial brands in Germany.”
Regarding the Facebook News launch in Germany, the dedicated tab provides a means for Facebook in order to showcase a curated set of news reports, which, ideally, will lessen the distribution of misinformation on the platform, while it could also give Facebook more opportunity to reduce the amount of political news in the main News Feed, which it recently noted that it will be exploring.
Moreover, the expansion of its News tab could see Facebook look to establish more of a divide between family and friends and news content into each feed – though how, exactly, Facebook will look to facilitate such is not clear at this stage.
Additionally, News content on Facebook came into sharp focus in February when Facebook cut off local publishers in Australia because of disagreement over the Australian Government’s proposed Media Bargaining Code, which would have forced the company to share revenue with publishers for use of their content.
Also, Facebook argued that it doesn’t use this content, as such, as anything shared on its social platform is posted by users, or by the publishers themselves.
Simultaneously, Facebook has attempted to build financial agreements with publishers, along with a view to avoiding further regulatory action, while also enabling Facebook to explore new ways to showcase news content in a more collaborative, engaging way.
Moreover, Facebook News is its key solution on this front, also Facebook has been keen to point out the benefits for publishers in signing up for the option.
Regarding Facebook News launch in Germany: “Built with publisher feedback and insights from people, it is a personalized destination for news within Facebook. Helping publishers reach new audiences has been one of our most important goals, and we’ve found over 95% of the traffic Facebook News delivers to publishers is incremental to the traffic they already get from News Feed.”
Moreover, traditional publishers still hold a lot of sway with local authorities, on the other side, Facebook is keen to build better relationships with local media to avoid situations like the Australian stand-off, which ultimately impact the usage of its platforms.
Certainly, Facebook’s digital advertising dominance will continue to bring scrutiny, as well as regulatory queries. If Facebook can reduce such, by establishing independent agreements like these, it makes sense to do so – on the other hand, as noted, it gives The Social Network more flexibility in regards to the presentation of news content on its platforms.
Aside from Facebook News launch in Germany, that connectivity can also improve and increase reliance on its tools among traditional media players, further solidifying Facebook’s place as a key source of news and information.
Besides Facebook News launch in Germany, we can expect that France and Australia to be the next two regions to roll out Facebook News, as it looks to continue to lock in independent news deals, and avoid further Imperial entanglements.