Facebook ends funding for US News Partnerships program

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Meta Platforms says it will no longer pay US news organizations to have their material appear on Facebook’s News tab as it reallocates resources in the face of the economic downturn and changing user behavior.

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The company said Thursday that most people “don’t come to Facebook for news, and as a company it doesn’t make sense to overinvest in areas that don’t align with user preferences.”

Meta, then called Facebook, launched the partnerships in 2019. The “News” section of Facebook’s mobile app only shows headlines, and nothing else, from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, NBC , USA. Today and the Los Angeles Times, among others. The company did not say how much it was paying news organizations, but reports put it in the millions of dollars for major outlets like The Wall Street Journal.

The Associated Press was not involved in the initiative.

At the time the program was launched, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the AP that he saw “an opportunity to build new, long-term, stable financial relationships with publishers.”

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But Menlo Park, Calif.-based Meta said in a statement Thursday that “a lot has changed since we signed agreements three years ago to test the possibility of bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the US.”

On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. posted its first-ever revenue decline and also forecast weak results for the current quarter.

Meta does not pay for news content that outlets publish on its platform. The news tab deals, the company said Thursday, were for “incremental content, for example, making sure we had access to more article links and that we covered a number of topic areas at launch.”

The company said Facebook News will continue in the other countries it’s currently in, and that the switch to the US won’t change offerings in those places: the UK, France, Germany and Australia.


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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!