Since the dawn of civilization, people have required news in order to stay in the know. We have always desired to know about anything that might affect us like changes in politics, war, economics, and more. From newspapers and magazines to websites and now applications, all the news you want is available right at your fingertips. But now, Facebook News is here and ready to go. And, it’s transforming the way news is consumed and distributed, practically putting the news all in the palm of your hand.
What’s good about Facebook News?
In their official newsroom announcement, Facebook describes 5 key features that they believe will make Facebook News valuable.
Today’s Stories – These are chosen by a team of journalists put together to ensure that you’re caught up on the news for the day.
Personalization – This feature is to ensure that it’s always fresh and engaging. Will be mainly based on the news that users frequently or regularly read, like, share, or follow.
Topic Sections – These will give you a deeper look into specific topics such as business, entertainment, sports, and many more.
Your Subscriptions – This section is specifically for users that have linked the news subscriptions which they pay for to their Facebook account.
Controls – As with your newsfeed, this feature allows you to have control over what you see. You can hide things that you would prefer not to see such as certain articles, topics, and/or publishers even!
To serve both people and news publishers of all sizes, Facebook News aims to continue to expand its selection algorithms. They’ll also have a team that will hold editorial independence to select stories based on guidelines. You can learn about this at facebook.com/news, to find out more about what you’ll see go check it out yourself.
Why the shift?
Essentially, the Facebook News feature is aimed towards increasing how long users spend on the platform. People tend to find their news from other sources and then come to discuss them on Facebook. The idea is to be able to find all your news on one personalized feed, but from multiple publishers.
This does hold benefits for advertisers and businesses, particularly with the latest trends in digital marketing. It’s much cheaper to advertise online on the Facebook platform. Much more so than it is on any sort of printed media or official publisher website. Running ads on Facebook has many other advantages as well, and the ads in the news articles can be customized to users’ individual preferences.
So there it is, a bold shift from the platform we mainly use to share things, to a platform that is essentially its own news publisher. As far as we know they won’t be publishing their own news, but will be consolidating news media sources on their own platform through a selection process with four separate categories and various other selection criteria. Facebook News is here and is aimed towards drawing people nearer to the stories that are important to them.