Facebook News to launch in more countries

Facebook plans to launch its dedicated news section in a number of new countries within the next year, the company announced in a blog post.

Called Facebook News, the portal rolled out to users in the United States earlier this year and will now become available in other countries sooner than expected.

“The US launch of Facebook News marked a new chapter in our relationship with the news industry and it’s off to a strong start,” Facebook said.

“Built with publisher feedback and insights from people, it is a personalized destination for news within Facebook.”

Facebook said it has found that over 95% of the traffic its dedicated news platform delivers to publishers is incremental to the traffic which they already receive from the News Feed.

“Based on this progress, we are accelerating our plans to expand internationally,” Facebook said.

“We aim to launch Facebook News in multiple countries within the next six months to a year and are considering the UK, Germany, France, India, and Brazil.”

In each of these countries, as in the United States, Facebook will pay news publishers to ensure their content is available in the new product.

The company added that it would work closely with news partners in each country to tailor the experience to local readers.

Facebook did not state when its News section would roll out to other countries such as South Africa.

How Facebook News works

Facebook News aims to deliver reliable and informative information from registered publishers, who it requires to conform with broadly-accepted journalistic principles.

“Facebook News delivers a focused look at the news of the day without any filler content,” the company said.

“We use a machine learning model to distinguish news from everyday content, using the same guidelines that inform our news Page index to identify content about current events or timely information.”

The platform states that it targets click-bait, low-quality links, and misinformation, prioritising content from publishers who are transparent about their staff via editorial bylines and contact information for authors.

Content in Facebook News is ranked based on how likely each viewer is to care about this content.

“Facebook knows it’s important to give people control over their experience, allowing you to customize exactly how you want to stay informed,” Facebook said.

“For News, this includes tools to hide articles, publishers, or the curated content selected by our team of journalists.”

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Facebook News to launch in more countries