Facebook has announced plans to launch its news service in several countries in the coming months. Introduced in the United States last year, Facebook News will expand to the UK, Germany, France, India, and Brazil "within the next six months to a year."
In a press release on Tuesday, Campbell Brown, vice president of Global News Partnerships at Facebook, said that the company's news service is off to a strong start. An internal analysis finds that "over 95 percent of the traffic Facebook News delivers to publishers is incremental to the traffic they already get from News Feed."
The company wants to build on this progress and bring the service to many more countries in the coming months. Brown ensures that Facebook would pay news publishers in each country it launches the news service.
Facebook News to launch in more countries
Facebook began testing a curated "News" tab on its hugely popular social media app in October last year. The feature finally came out of the testing phase and started rolling out to all users in the United States a couple of months back, albeit in a slightly confusing way. It requires users to bookmark Facebook News and frequently visit it in order for the tab to appear on their app.
Facebook News features personalized news stories based on your location, past interactions, and preferences. There are specific sections such as business, entertainment, or science within the tab. If you have a paid subscription with a news provider that publishes on Facebook News, you can link that as well.
As with pretty much every content on Facebook, you can hide articles and topics that don't interest you. You can also hide publishers that you don't want to see from. The social media giant says it has gathered publisher feedback and insights from people and will build on that to further improve the service.
Facebook News currently features original reporting from more than 200 news outlets in the US. The company will remain committed to those partnerships to make the service a valuable asset over the long term. It promises to continue to focus on growing engagement of the service in the country.
In the meantime, the company will also expand Facebook News to other countries. Facebook says consumer habits and news inventory vary by country. So it'll work closely with news partners in each country to tailor the experience.
Facebook hasn't shared an exact timeline on when News will start appearing in the aforementioned five countries. So it's unclear when and where the service would launch next.