Facebook Taps Campbell Brown To Lead News Partnerships

Facebook just hired former CNN host Campbell Brown to lead its News Partnerships team. “This is a different role for me,” Brown notes in a post on the social giant.

In her new role, Brown will be expected to help news organizations and journalists work more closely with Facebook.

“I will be working directly with our partners to help them understand how Facebook can expand the reach of their journalism, and contribute value to their businesses,” Brown said.

Brown -- who previously served as a correspondent for NBC News -- noted the news media business is currently undergoing a fundamental shift. More to the point, she admitted that Facebook is responsible for much of that shift.  

“Facebook is a major part of this transformation,” she said. “This change comes with enormous challenges for journalists, but also with great opportunities.”

The appointment comes at a time when many in the media business are trying to figure out Facebook, and whether it is a friend or foe. In a Live video one-on-one chat with COO Sheryl Sandberg, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently called Facebook “a new kind of platform.”

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Whatever that means, Facebook executives know they increasingly serve as gatekeepers between publishers and readers. Among other implications, the social giant has slowly realized it is at least partially responsible for policing the veracity of the content that flows through its platform.

As such, in partnership with top third-party fact-checking organizations, Facebook just recently launched a full-frontal attack on so-called “fake news.”

Soon, if these partner organizations -- each of which is a signatory of Poynter’ Inter national Fact Checking Code of Principles -- identify a story circulating on Facebook as phony, it will be labeled as disputed.

Facebook’s Instant Articles program, which helps publishers serve content to mobile consumers more quickly, is facing increasing competition from Apple News and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The latter has already expanded beyond news into other categories, from query results to ecommerce to advertising.

In response, Facebook just recently offered partner publishers access to several new ad options, including larger mobile display ads, and -- for those using the Facebook Audience Network -- video and carousel formats.

Previously, Facebook increased the number of ads allowed per each article and began testing native call-to-action features in Instant Articles. It also rolled out a new feature allowing users to send each other links to Instant Articles in its popular Messenger function.

Facebook recently added 360 videos and photos to Instant Articles. 

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