In a clear message to news publishers, a top Facebook executive has emphasised that it is not their job to recruit people from media organisations for the content on the social media platform. At the “Code Media 2018” conference in California organised by the famous tech portal ReCode, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown said “her job is to make sure there is quality news on Facebook”.
But “my job is not to go recruit people from news organisations to put their stuff on Facebook,” she was quoted as saying in The Verge late on Tuesday. Facebook hired former NBC and CNN anchor Brown to lead its news partnership team last year.
When asked about why Brazil’s largest newspaper Folha de Sao Paolo had stopped publishing content to its six million Facebook followers, she said, “This didn’t come as a big surprise to me quite honestly”. “Folha hadn’t been publishing regularly on Facebook for a while, she said. And in any case, it wasn’t her job to persuade them,” the report added.
“Publishers who want to be on Facebook …have a business model that works. If anyone feels this isn’t the right platform for them, they should not be on Facebook,” she was quoted as saying. Facebook in October launched a new programme that would allow publishers to sell subscriptions to their news sites on Facebook.
At the event, Brown also announced a deal with Apple to commence the go-ahead of the subscription service programme in the Facebook iOS app. Facebook recently rolled out an update to its News Feed that will prioritise local news that have a direct impact on the users and they can discover what’s happening in their area.
The update comes after the social media giant announced changes to News Feed that showed posts from friends and high-quality news sources. Users can choose which news sources, including local or national publications, that they want to see at the top of their feed with the social media giant’s “See First” feature.
According to Alex Hardiman, Head of News Product and Brown, there are no constraints on which publishers are eligible, which means large local publishers will benefit, as well as publishers that focus on niche topics like local sports, arts and human interest stories.
“That said, small news outlets may benefit from this change more than other outlets because they tend to have a concentrated readership in one location,” Hardiman said recently. 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.”