No News Is Good News: Facebook Is Killing Its News Tab In The U.S. In April

Meta has taken another action against publishers, saying Facebook will “deprecate” its news tab in the United States and Australia early in April, following earlier cutoffs of the tab in the UK, France and Germany.  

The company states that this is part of an effort to focus its investments on the most popular services. 

“The number of people using Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. has dropped by over 80% last year,” it writes in a blog post. “We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content — they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests.”

However, critics will say that this decision is also in response to the increasing efforts by publishers and governments to force the tech giants, to pay publishers for use of their content. Case in point: Facebook now blocks news in Canada, following enactment of the Online News Act there.   



Meta says, “People will still be able to view news on Facebook in feed in these countries, and publishers will continue to have access to their Facebook accounts and Pages, where they can post their news article links and content.

The company adds it will keep the existing agreements it has with publishers in Australia, France and Germany--until they expire. 

Still, removal of the news tab is bound to hurt publishers, which have suffered steep declines in Facebook referral traffic in recent years, although the cause is not clear. For instance, Mother Jones has experienced a 99% decline, according to CNBC. Publishers are bound to lose revenue. 

Google rattled publishers earlier earlier this month when it briefly removed its news tab from some search results in an apparent experiment. A Google spokesperson told media outlets, “We’re testing different ways to show filters on Search and as a result, a small subset of users were temporarily unable to access some of them.”

Meta argues that “3% of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed, and is a small part of the Facebook experience for the vast majority of people.” 

CNBC also says that Meta is trying to distance itself from the news business after criticism over how it addresses misinformation. 

Call it what you will: It’s a hostile move against publishers by a powerful tech giant.
Next story loading loading..