Facebook will create a section for 'hard news video' within Watch

Yolanda Curtis
February 15, 2018

Facebook hired former NBC and CNN anchor Brown to lead its news partnership team a year ago.

Now, two of the top Facebook executives behind the changes say they are working on new tools that will help publishers establish more meaningful relationships with their readers.

Recode reports that during the Recode Media Conference, Facebook's Head of News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, and Facebook's Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, discussed the company's new attitude towards news publishers on their platform.

In addition to prioritising local news, Facebook is also testing a dedicated section on Facebook that connects people to news and information in their community, called "Today In".

Asked if Facebook will monetize videos in Watch's hard news section differently from other videos and how the company will raise awareness of the section, "I don't know", said Brown. In response, the social network has said that it will poll its users on their trusted news sources and also promote more local news.

Last month, Facebook said that its focus on quality time and elevating friends' and family posts has meant users are spending roughly 50 million fewer hours daily on Facebook. This is not us stepping back from news, this is us changing our relationship with publishers.

Also announced at Code Media was an attempt by Facebook to push breaking news to its US-only Facebook Watch platform.

All publishers were asking for the paywall's so-called meter - or the number of free articles that can be viewed before being sent to the actual publisher - to be lowered to five.
She continued, "If someone feels that being on Facebook is not good for your business, you shouldn't be on Facebook". But at the time, that test was to be limited to people viewing those articles through Facebook's Android app and would not include people using its iOS because of an impasse with Apple regarding the iPhone maker's 30 percent tax on apps' subscription revenue.

"If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in [your] news feed".

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