Facebook launches 'News Tab' featuring major publishers

Facebook launches 'News Tab' featuring major publishers
© Getty Images

Facebook on Friday announced the launch of a news tab for the platform, which will aggregate and highlight the top stories of the day.

The launch of the "news tab" comes as Facebook faces intense heat over whether its dominance in digital advertising has stifled the ability for newsrooms across the country to grow and retain readers.

"Today we’re starting to test Facebook News, a dedicated place for news on Facebook, to a subset of people in the US," said news product manager Mona Sarantakos and vice president of global news partnerships Campbell Brown in a statement

ADVERTISEMENT

"News gives people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app," they added.

Facebook News will feature top stories curated by a team of reporters. It will also personalize the selection of stories for users based on news they interact with while using the feature so that people can easily find stories focused on business, entertainment, health and other subjects.

Users will also be allowed to link their paid news subscriptions and hide articles, topics and publishers they don't want to see. 

In a New York Times op-ed published Friday, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers Twitter adds fact-checking labels to hundreds of tweets despite Trump attacks Pelosi says Zuckerberg comments are a 'disgrace' MORE acknowledged "the internet disrupted the business model for much of the news industry." 

"This model establishes a long-term financial partnership between publishers and Facebook for the first time," Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook will pay some news publishers for their content.

Publishers that appear on the platform will need to be in Facebook's news page index and follow its publisher guidelines.

The Hill is one of the news publishers participating in the launch of the news tab.

Articles will also continue to appear on the site's news feed as they do today.

“Journalism plays a critical role in our democracy. When news is deeply-reported and well-sourced it gives people information they can rely on. When it’s not, we lose an essential tool for making good decisions," said Brown and Sarantakos in the Facebook announcement.

The company has maintained a strained relationship with news publishers for years, throughout several product launches intended to bring more news to Facebook's platform.

The "news" tab will help Facebook address critics who have accused the platform of harming U.S. newsrooms and failing to stave off the spread of misinformation. 

Updated at 2:36 p.m.