Facebook is keen to become a major news distributor again, after being lambasted for years over its role in aiding the spread of misinformation. A report from the Wall Street Journal last night indicated that the social network is offering major publications multi-million dollar deals to bring them on board its upcoming news service.
The report noted the company’s offer as much as $3 million to some publications; it has already had some discussions with ABC News, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, and the Washington Post.
Hours later, the social network confirmed to CNBC that it’s launching a dedicated news tab this fall. Earlier in April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had mentioned the company wants to introduce this feature by the end of the year. At the time, he said the company would take on advice from outside the organization to build it the right way.
Last January, Zuck announced Facebook booted off brands and publishers from your timeline and prioritized posts from friends and family. That resulted in a reduction of traffic for many publishers. In May, Facebook tweaked the news feed again to weed out clickbait and original content. This indicated the social network was working to strike a balance between news and posts from friends – and it seems like it isn’t there just yet.
Plus, several scandals, data leaks, and misinformation rackets have made Facebook an untrustworthy place to look for news. The company now has to start afresh to gain the trust of publishers and readers alike.