Facebook is looking to start a News tab on its platform, offers news publishers millions in licensing fees
Facebook is apparently offering news organisations up to $3 mn a year for permission to feature their content in an upcoming News section on the platform.
This section will feature headlines and excerpts from articles generated by news organisations. These organisations will have the option of either hosting content directly on Facebook or to furnish links that take users to their respective sites.
According to The Wall Street Journal, organisations like The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal themselves have been approached by Facebook. The News tab is expected to roll out later this year.
Facebook’s earlier attempts at bringing news content to the platform took the form of Instant Articles, which, like Google Amp pages, surfaced News articles in a light, mobile-friendly format hosted by Facebook. Facebook inserted ads into these pages and shared the revenue with publishers.
Facebook and Google have both been criticised in the past for not sharing sufficient ad revenue with publishers.
Given what happened with Facebook’s Live video program earlier, publishers are understandably wary of Facebook’s proposal. Facebook had convinced publishers that video was the way forward, that there would be tremendous traction on the platform, and that revenue would be good. Many publishers accepted Facebook’s view and invested heavily in video production. When the platform failed to take off, which was later followed by allegations that Facebook was artificially boosting figures to make the platform appear successful, many publishers lost money, which also resulted in job loss for journalists.
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