Facebook hasn't been particularly great when it comes to news, but it appears that could change soon, with the company potentially taking a more serious role as a platform when it comes to distributing facts.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to create a dedicated "News" section on Facebook that would be devoted to high-quality news items, and it may even pay publishers to share their articles there.
Facebook Wants A Dedicated News Tab
Zuckerberg expressed the idea during a conversation with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, the entirety of which was posted by Zuckerberg himself on the social network. Both executives discussed the role of good journalism in informing communities, plus the principles Facebook should use for building a dedicated news tab to surface more high-quality news.
Zuckerberg also talked about creating a feature that allows users who want more news content to get it, adding that Facebook could potentially establish a direct relationship with publishers to make sure there's always content available. More specifically, he talked about paying them a sort of licensing fee.
"That's definitely something that I think we should be thinking about here, because the relationship between us and publishers is different in a surface where we're showing the content on the basis of us believing that it's high-quality, trustworthy content," he told Döpfner.
Users wouldn't have to pay to access this tab, as Zuckerberg said it's not something the company thinks of as a revenue source.
This is not the first time Facebook has toyed around with the idea of focusing — and also defocusing — on news. In 2017, it moved most of the stuff posted by publishers and other companies into a standalone Explore feed. The test, administered in six countries, was eventually canceled, however.
By contrast, Zuckerberg isn't saying all news should be moved to a separate tab; rather, it wants to create a space where it's all just news, in the same way Facebook Watch is just for video.
Whether or not this means Facebook users will see a dedicated news tab within this year is unclear.