Social & Influencers

Meta to shutter Facebook News in parts of Europe

The company said it’s part of a plan to focus on other parts of the business, like short-form video.
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Meta is shuttering Facebook News in the UK, France, and Germany.

In a post announcing the change, the company noted that it would phase out its dedicated news tab in these countries in early December. Users will still be able to see news on Facebook, and publishers can still use their Facebook accounts to post articles and content. Meta will also uphold its current agreements with publishers in the affected countries until they expire.

Following its removal, the news tab will only remain in the US and Australia, according to The Verge. The shift comes as Meta prioritizes other parts of the business, like short-form video. In its most recent earnings report, Meta said that more than three-quarters of its advertisers use Reels ads.

News accounts for less than 3% of what users view in their Facebook feeds, Meta claims. When Facebook’s news tab initially debuted in 2019, the company struck deals with several publishers, letting them earn money from Meta in exchange for providing some of their coverage without a paywall.

There have been signs that the company intends to deprioritize the tab, however. Last summer, Meta told US publishers it wouldn’t renew contracts for Facebook News, per Axios. Earlier this year, Canada passed the Online News Act, which mandates that tech companies pay fees to news outlets in exchange for sharing their content. Meta responded by blocking news across its platforms in Canada.

“The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true. News outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line. In contrast, we know the people using our platforms don’t come to us for news,” the company said at the time in a statement.

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