Facebook launches News tab for select users

Facebook on Friday launched a brand new News tab within its main app. It is to support new forms of journalism in the digital age. Also, Facebook wants to give more control to users over the stories that they see.

“Today we’re starting to test Facebook News, a dedicated place for news on Facebook, to a subset of people in the US. The news gives people more control over the stories they see. It also offers the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.

“We want new forms of journalism in the digital age, including individual and independent journalism to flourish. So we will continue to expand the algorithmic selection of stories driving the majority of Facebook News,” the company added.

Facebook’s new News tab will enable users to discover new topics based on the news you read, share and follow. Moreover, it will also enable users to select the sections and publishers that they want to see more news from. In addition to that, users will also get an overview of the day’s major stories. Thus, they are up to date with what’s happening around the world.

The social media giant said that its News tab is being rolled to Facebook users in select cities in the United States. It includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, and Boston. The feature has general, topical, local, and diverse outlets from over 200 publication houses. It has names such as Forbes, Business Insider, ABC, BuzzFeed News, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, People, New York Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and Chicago Tribune among others. Later this year, the social media giant will also include local news from Today In.

The news in Facebook’s News tab will be curated by a team of human editors. This news will appear in the Today’s Stories sub-section of Facebook’s News tab. Facebook said that this team will have editorial independence. Also, it will select stories based on publicly available guidelines.

Notably, the social media company did not disclose the entire list of publishers whose content will be available in the Facebook News. However, it did say that the publishers will need to be in the company’s News Page Index and abide by Facebook’s Publisher Guidelines. Then they will be able to feature their content on Facebook News.

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