Facebook launched its Facebook News in the UK as the first market for the service outside the US, were it was introduced a couple of years ago. Facebook has earlier said the service will be introduced step-by-step across Europe including France and Germany, where Facebook says it is in active negotiations with partners.
In an announcement, the company said the news destination within the Facebook app is featuring news from hundreds of publishers, adding that new partners include Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group. These are in addition to partners earlier announced like The Economist, The Guardian, The Independent, STV and hundreds of local news sites from Archant, Iliffe, JPI Media, Midlands News Association and Reach as well as lifestyle outlets such as GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Vogue.
Facebook said “the product puts original journalism in front of new audiences and provides publishers with more advertising and subscription opportunities to build sustainable businesses for the future. This is the beginning of a series of international investments in news.”
Referring to international copyright discussions about how big platforms should be made to pay for using publisher´ content, Facebook said: “In order to bring Facebook News and other news products that help publishers´ transition in the digital age to more countries, it is critical that regulatory environments invite this kind of investment and innovation.” The company has recently protested against a proposed legislation in Australia that says platforms should pay and if platforms and publishers cannot agree on the fee, an independent panel will set the price.
During the test period in the US, Facebook paid for content from publishers the company wanted included in the news service. Others did not get paid but were invited to contribute content with Facebook saying the publishers would anyway benefit from increased traffic to their sites.
Google recently agreed a deal to pay news publishers for online content in France, the first such deal on the continent based on the European Union´s updated copyright directive.
“With Facebook News, people in the UK will see the top headlines and stories of the day next to news personalised to their interests. During major news cycles, Facebook News provides timely news digests, highlighting original and authoritative reporting on the biggest stories”, Facebook said in a press release.
Key features include:
- Today’s stories chosen by editors
- Personalised choice of stories based on the user reads, shares and follows
- News sections: business, entertainment, health, science & tech and sport
- Controls to hide articles, topics and publishers that the user is not interested in