Facebook said on Tuesday it plans to launch its news service in India, Brazil, France, Germany, and the UK in the coming months, after having introduced the feature in the United States last year. Facebook News is expected to launch in multiple countries within the next year. The social media giant also said that it would pay news publishers to “ensure their content is available in the new product.” A report also suggested that Facebook may not be the launching the service in Australia.
In its announcement, Facebook said that looking at the progress the service made in the US since its launch, Facebook News is being planned to be launched in the aforementioned countries within the next six to 12 months. Facebook’s Global News Partnerships Vice President Campbell Brown assured in the announcement that the company would pay news publishers in each country.
The social media giant’s news service currently pays US publishers for content and has original reporting from more than 200 outlets, including thousands of local news organisations. Facebook will continue to “focus on growing engagement of Facebook News in the US.” It said that the company will remain committed to the partnerships it has developed with American publishers in order to make Facebook News a “valuable asset” over the long term.
In a report, Axios cited sources saying that Facebook may not be launching Facebook News in Australia. The country announced in April that it would begin forcing Google and Facebook to pay news companies for content, in a landmark move aimed at shielding traditional media from the tech giants’ digital dominance. “What we want to see is a level playing field. What we want to see here is a fair go for the companies and for the journalistic content that is prepared,” said Australia Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Facebook, that has 2.7 billion monthly active users, has come under fire for its lax approach to fake news reports and disinformation campaigns, that many believe affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, won by Donald Trump. Following the criticism, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said the company would prioritize “trustworthy” news in its feed by identifying high-quality outlets.
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