Facebook To Pay Only a Quarter of Publishers with Headlines Featured on News Tab: Report


Facebook is looking to launch a news tab on its mobile app by the end of the month, but only a portion of the publishers with headlines featured in the section will be paid, according to a new report.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook had never planned to pay all of the publications featured on this news tab, which will link to about 200 different publications.

News executives in discussion with Facebook have been offered as much as $3 million a year for Facebook to license headlines and previews of articles, according to an August report from The Wall Street Journal.

Some of these outlets include ABC News, Dow Jones & Co., The Washington Post, The New York Times, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, HuffPost and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Taking into account companies that own multiple publications, Facebook will pay fees to about one-quarter of the organizations that will be involved at the launch,” anonymous sources told The Wall Street Journal.

The proposed licensing deals would last for three years after the section is launched, and it has been suggested to allow news publishers to decide how their content appears (either as a headline or a preview that would send readers to the original website).

The social media company currently pays similar licensing fees for content such as videos shown in the Facebook Watch section as well as content created for Facebook Live.

“The number of publishers included in the news tab will grow over time,” Mari Melguizo, a Facebook company spokesperson, told The Western Journal.

“To ensure we’re including a range of topic areas, we’ll start by paying a subset of publishers who can provide a steady volume of fact-based and original content.”

As well as expanding the number of news outlets featured, Facebook also hopes to include links to its local-news project “Today In,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Only publications that meet Facebook’s criteria for its news page index will be highlighted.

Do you think this is the right way for Facebook to go about creating its news section?

Although the social media giant has previously relied on algorithms to select what users see, it plans to hire people to work on the news initiative that will “highlight real-time journalism and news” outside of the News Feed, according to an August report by The New York Times.

“Our goal with the News Tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, said.

“To start, for the Top News section of the tab we’re pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”

This team of journalists will reportedly help with breaking news and top stories, but other content will appear after being sorted and ranked by an algorithm.

According to Brown, training algorithms to personalize content takes a lot of data and time, which is why the company has hired journalists to help with the most important stories of the day.

Although Facebook has been under scrutiny for bias, an anonymous person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the company “has been mindful to include a diversity of viewpoints among the outlets that will be featured.”

“We’ve been working closely with news organization to get this right by emphasizing original reporting and making it much easier to find the most relevant news on Facebook,” Brown said.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith