In a recent announcement, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, has revealed its decision to discontinue the “Facebook News” feature on its social media app in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany later this year. This move signals a shift in Meta’s approach to news content on its platform.
While this change takes effect in December, users in these countries will still have the ability to view links to news articles. Additionally, European news publishers will maintain access to their Facebook accounts and pages. However, Meta clarified that it will not enter into new commercial agreements for news content on “Facebook News” in these regions, nor will it introduce further product innovations tailored to news publishers.
“Facebook News” is a dedicated tab located within the bookmarks section of the Facebook app, designed to curate a feed of news articles for users. Despite its presence, Meta pointed out that news content comprises less than 3 percent of the content users typically encounter in their Facebook feeds. Thus, the company views news discovery as a relatively minor aspect of the Facebook experience for the majority of its users.
This decision by Meta comes amid growing global pressure on major tefch companies, including Meta and Alphabet, to allocate a larger portion of their advertising revenue to news publishers. Several countries, such as Canada and Australia, have implemented legislation compelling internet giants to financially compensate news publishers for using their content.
In its official blog post, Meta explained that this decision aligns with the company’s ongoing efforts to enhance its products and services. Meta’s perspective is that most users do not primarily turn to Facebook for news and political content. Instead, they primarily use the platform as a means to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, as well as to discover new opportunities.
As Meta refocuses its priorities and strategy regarding news content on its platform, the decision to discontinue “Facebook News” in the UK, France, and Germany serves as a significant development in the evolving landscape of social media and digital news dissemination.