Facebook News was first introduced in October 2019 to a limited user base.
Facebook has announced that Facebook News has launched to all users within the United States. Available as its own section on the social media site, it will feature local, general, topical and diverse news stories from verified publishers.
In order to curate the stories that will appear in the section, Facebook has hired a group of journalists who will work to curate and source news content from publishers within its News Page Index. They will follow the site’s guidelines and will choose stories without input or direction from Facebook, advertisers or publishers.
The stories featured through Facebook News will be chosen based on numerous factors, including their prevalence, overall impact, diversity and their overall interest to users. The journalists tasked with selecting them will also need to consider the timeliness of the stories, their depth and context, the fairness and facts of the reporting, the inclusion of diverse voices, original and local reporting and on-the-record sourcing.
Facebook News comes two years after Facebook removed its Trending Stories feature, which, after the site removed human review, saw an influx of fake news being shared as a result of its algorithm.
Users who access the section will be able to react and share stories, but not comment. They will also be able to hide publishers, topics and articles they do not wish to see. Facebook shares that the section will feature personalised news based on users’ past engagement and interests.
In order for publishers to qualify, they will have to serve what Facebook deems as a “sufficiently large audience”. They will also have to abide by the site’s integrity standards – no misinformation, clickbait titles, community standards violations, engagement bait or scraped content – and will have to sign up through the News Page Index.
Facebook News is currently only available to users within the United States, with a wider global rollout yet to be announced. Facebook has shared that it’s working to include video news in the section and is developing tools for users to add their favourite news sources, specify their location and opt-in to paid subscriptions.