In 2016, fake news sites became a viral phenomenon. With over a billion users, Facebook quickly became the biggest disseminator of fake news stories about politics, crime, and science. Now, in an effort to combat fake news and regain trust, Facebook is partnering with journalists and publishers to build a dedicated place for credible news on the social media network.
Appropriately named Facebook News, the new feature will showcase national stories of the day, local news, and general content focused on entertainment, health, business, and sports. Best of all, Facebook News will give people more control over the stories they see and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests.
According to Campbell Brown, Vice President, Global News Partnerships, and Mona Sarantakos, Product Manager, News, the following key features will make Facebook News valuable to all users:
Today’s Stories – A list chosen by a team of journalists to catch users up on the news throughout the day.
Personalization – Topics based on the same type of news stories that users frequently read, share, and follow.
Topic Sections – Sections that allow users to dive deeper into business, entertainment, health, science, technology, and sports content.
Subscriptions – Users can link their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account.
Controls – Users can hide articles, topics, and publishers that they don’t want to see.
Facebook News is currently being tested to a subset of users in the U.S. While many users are excited about this new feature, Facebook News is already receiving backlash from prominent media outlets including CNN and Vox. Critics say this is Facebook’s meager attempt to act like a newspaper and claim that news feeds will still be clouded by fake news.
With two-thirds (67%) of Americans getting their news from social media, the stakes for Facebook News are high. While only time will tell how Facebook News will perform, I’m looking forward to the addition of credible content on the site.
Will you use Facebook News to stay up to date on current events?