Facebook News launched to US users as part of a slightly confusing and complex as reported by Engadget. The Facebook News section is a revival of the platform's journalism portal which will highlight news it believes relevant to the user.
However, the way this has been launched is made available is somewhat confusing. Facebook made the new section available to all American users as a bookmark. However, if you want the promised tab to appear sooner you need to visit it frequently, which is an interesting approach.
Facebook News Gets Partial Roll Out
Fortunately, there is a bit more to this roll-out than outlined above. Users will be able to access a local news section so you can see important events in your area. Over the coming weeks, the Today In discovery feature will weave its way into Facebook News.
Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be testing and introducing new features to the tab. These may include breaking news alerts and digests which recap larger events.
News Launches at A Crucial Moment
The News platform is launching at a crucial time both on a local and national level. Locally Facebook has been blamed for speeding up the death of regional newspapers.
Therefore, a platform that fills some of the gaps caused by these closures is incredibly important. This makes the local news element of this innovation a much more important feature than some would make out.
Nationally, with so many significant events taking place such as Black Lives Matter protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, this news feature becomes even more important.
It is not yet clear as to whether this take on the news will provide popular with users. However, Facebook clearly has a large audience and the ability to cover important events on an appropriate scale.
Australia has ruled that Facebook will have to pay for news content it uses from the country so the innovation is likely to encounter some issues. This coupled with the ongoing war between President Trump and social media organisations makes the News tab all the more intriguing.
All news organisations that will be a part of this tab will have to conform to Facebook guidelines.
These include avoiding clickbait, not spreading hate-speech or misinformation and will be subject to fact-checking.
Human curation will dictate the stories chose rather than through an algorithm. Facebook will also publish the guidelines for this process so users and understand the decisions.