On June 10, the most popular news stories across Facebook were about the banning of Confederate flags done by NASCAR as well as the Blue Lives Matter. However, things were different over the platform’s Facebook News feature.

The banning of Confederate flags by NASCAR and the Blue Lives Matter movement was heavily circulating on Facebook last June 10. However, it was not the same in Facebook News– a new feature of the platform that was launched in the US. 

As of now, Facebook News is only available over the mobile app. Users can access this feature by tapping on the “more” icon located in the mobile app’s right corner. This feature contains the news for more than 200 participating publishers and local news publishers. 

Facebook Followers Publishers

Some of the participating publishers are being paid high licensing fees. However, more of them are not given any payment at all.  

The previous news section of Facebook called “Today In” is now combined into the new News section. It features local news stories from over 6,000 towns and cities. The News section also features stories that are selected by the news team of Facebook. For instance, if you will tap on the topic “George Floyd Protests,” the feature will redirect you to a digest of videos and stories. 

Suggested For You Facebook Stories

You can also access a “Suggested For You” section. According to the social media giant, this section will suggest Facebook users’ stories based on the previous content they liked. This means that the users’ liked posts, shares, and comments will be the basis of the content that the platform will curate for you. The users’ interactions on pages and groups and activities on News Feed will also be a basis. 

If you want to see only the news stories that are chosen by the platform’s algorithm, you can.

The social media giant said that Facebook’s experienced journalist’s team selects the news stories that users will see. But users can remove the curated stories from their account’s News section. Once they choose to do such, they will only see news content selected by the platform’s algorithm.

Facebook News’ Top Stories Contain Articles That Do Not Do Well On the Rest of Facebook

The most notable thing that everyone may notice on Facebook’s new feature is that most of the stories that it features are the ones that do not do well on the rest of the platform. 

According to CrowdTangle, the most popular news stories circulating on the Facebook accounts of users in the US on June 10 were CNN’s news, the banning of Confederate flags done by NASCAR. Another popular story was about Trump, saying that his administration does not have plans to consider renaming military bases named for confederates. Fox News reported this. 

In contrast, the news stories present on the Facebook News section were different from the most popular ones around Facebook News Feed. 

Facebook Likes It’s News Section (For the Facebook Likes)

The news stories on Facebook’s news section include news about George Floyd’s brother demanding police reforms in a hearing reported by NBC news. The second one is about Jon Ossoff winning Georgia’s Democratic Senate primary, a news story written by NPR. 

Moreover, another news present in the Facebook News section was the comeback of coronavirus in Arizona. NBC News also reported this. 

The Most Popular Stories Get The Most Facebook Likes

It appears that the most popular stories that are circulating all over Facebook are not present on the Facebook News section. Also, there are only very few news stories that involve politics. In fact, it was so few that there is almost nothing about the Trump and Biden race, for instance.

Needless to say, the Facebook News section only has less popular news stories compared to the ones circulating on Facebook. For instance, one of the news listed in the section was that alien life could thrive at planets that have a significant amount of airborne dust. There is no single news section for Health, Science and Technology, Business, Sports, Entertainment, and Politics.

Facebook Has a Long History With News

Furthermore, Facebook and news publishers have a long history of broken promises. The Facebook News feature is still on its test stage. However, the last time the social media giant tried to separate news from all the Facebook content, the results came out very badly. This prompted news publishers to abandon the platform, leaving news curation to the platform’s algorithm’s hands. 

On the other hand, the big question is whether or not Facebook users will bother tapping on the new tab to access Facebook News. In the first place, the social media platform is already filled with news stories that people will not take time to read. But with billions of Facebook users, getting even just a small percentage of them to tap on Facebook News would mean a significant amount of audience. But since the social media giant is already known for being redundant to heavy News Feed users, it is unclear if they will get audiences for the Facebook News feature. 

Furthermore, Facebook will not disclose the total number of publishers who will participate in the launch. However, what is clear is that they are a mix of diverse communities, including general news, topical news, and local news.

Conclusion

A publisher who wants to be included in Facebook’s new feature has several qualifications that must be met. First, he or she must have a significantly large audience. They must also refrain from posting hate speech, misinformation, or other stories that go against the platforms’ community standards.

If a publisher has met these qualifications, they can register as new pages and follow the guidelines set by the company. 

What is clear now is that Facebook is trying to cater to the public with newsworthy articles. However, it is undeniable that Facebook News is far from being newsworthy.


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