Facebook News makes its debut in the UK on Tuesday, its first marketplace in Europe and outside the United States. Like the version in the US, it will be easily accessible via a tab in the menu of the Android or iOS application.
Tons of local and national media organizations including Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News, and Telegraph Media Group will provide content for the upcoming news portal. However, the list does not end there, as Facebook has also partnered with giants like The Economist, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Glamor, Vogue, The Independent, GQ, and others.
Facebook News first came into play in October 2019, but it was not until June 2020 that it was made available to all users in the United States. The entry of Facebook News in the UK will mean that users in Britain will receive a list of the best-curated stories of the day, much like the US version – a list of personalized stories based on the individual interests of the users. Facebook News will also sport news sections dedicated to sports, entertainment, health, and science and technology. It will be up to the users to like or hide the stories.
Upday, a collaboration between Samsung and German publisher Axel Springer, will work with Facebook to manage the stories appearing on News. A spokesperson said, “The product is a mix of top-notch curated stories and algorithmically chosen personalized links.” It is clear that this arrangement will be in Upday’s best interests financially, considering Facebook’s licensing deals with publishers to place their content in News will run into tens of millions of pounds, a welcome present for the current UK media industry.
The current aim of Facebook News is to piggyback on the trend of users to stay up-to-date with events and news around the world from posts from friends, family, pages, and groups. Facebook News provides a more efficient and organized way of providing quality news content around the country, creating a central hub for the stories of the day.
In response to the fact that social media is a biased and imperfect source of news and information, Facebook News claims to provide a more impartial and balanced news mix for people, while adapting to the interests of the users as well. The Facebook app will also be available to browse news.
The United Kingdom is a stepping stone for Facebook News’ campaign in Europe and other continents. In 2020, Facebook confirmed that it planned greater expansion in the international arena, including plans to expand to countries including Brazil, France, Germany, and India. Jesper Doub, Facebook’s Director of News Partnerships in Europe, confirmed that the immediate next goals are France and Germany at some unspecified date.