Facebook news will be rolled out to few thousand users in the US. It features big publishers including the Wall Street Journals, USA Today, and Buzzfeed. Facebook is offering a new welcome revenue stream for ever-challenged media industry. The official blog post announcement reads, “People want and benefit from personalized experiences on Facebook, but we know there is reporting that transcends individual experience. We want to support both.”
The new section will be tested with 200,000 users in the US. It will later be rolled out to 30 million users over the next several years. Facebook plans to include 200 news publishers on the News tab. The company has structured deals to pay partners based on the amount and value of content. Facebook has committed a budget of $300 million to the local news providers.
In a fireside chat on Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “It’s no secret the internet has really disrupted the new business model. I just think every internet platform has a responsibility to fund and form partnerships for news. I care about giving people a voice. At the end of the day, in order for that to be valuable, there needs to be a strong and free press … and have that at scale.”
The news comes as a relief as Facebook is trying to fix its reputation. The company has a history of broken promises with publishers. Facebook News is just a test. Considering how cluttered Facebook timeline looks for users, it will be a real test to see whether users actually consume the News from a separate tab.