Facebook has started trialling its new ‘Facebook News’ feature in a bid to promote quality journalism.
With problems around fake news and misinformation following Facebook for some time now, company CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has been clear on his desire to create a platform that showcases “high quality and trustworthy information”.
Making the official announcement, Facebook VP global news partnerships Campbell Brown said Facebook News will help people explore stories they are interested in with the knowledge the sources are reliable.
“People want and benefit from personalised experiences on Facebook, but we know there is reporting that transcends individual experience. We want to support both,” he said.
The ‘Today’s Stories’ feature will include stories chosen by a team of journalists, while personalisation technology will choose stories based on interests.
While Facebook has long incorporated a ‘News Feed’ on the platform, where news articles often appear, Facebook News will appear as a standalone tab, similar to video service Facebook Watch.
Publishers that wish to partner with Facebook for the service must have registered to the company’s News Page Index, while also abiding by Facebook’s Publisher Guidelines.
News Corp has already revealed publications such as The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s will be on Facebook News.
Upon making the announcement, Zuckerberg sat down with News Corp chief executive Robert Thomsen [pictured] to discuss the potential significance of the deal.
“Great journalism will only be sustainable at scale if there is a fundamental change to the digital ecosystem,” Thomson said.
“This announcement is an important step on the road.”
The deal is also expected to give publishers a financial boost.
“I think every internet platform has a responsibility to help fund and support news,” Zuckerberg said.
“Hopefully others will follow the model we are helping to set up.”
News Corp recently announced its own news aggregation service, ‘Knewz.com’, to bolster its digital publishing presence.
The current trial is only in the US, but Facebook plans to roll out the platform worldwide early next year.