Facebook began testing its News service on Friday. Some users in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, and Boston started seeing the new tab.
Facebook News Arrives in U.S.
In a blog post, Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships and Mona Sarantakos, Product Manager, News, wrote:
Facebook News will feature a wide range of content across four categories of publishers: general, topical, diverse and local news. At the beginning of the year, we surveyed over 100,000 people on Facebook in the US about what topics they were most interested in and found that we were under-serving many topics people wanted most in their News Feeds, especially around categories like entertainment, health, business and sports. We took this into consideration as we identified publishers across those four categories.
The post outlined five key features to News.
- Today’s Stories – A section curated by journalists.
- Personalization – Based on the news that users read, share, and follow.
- Topic sections
- Subscriptions linked to Facebook Accounts
- Controls hide unwanted articles, topics, or publishers.
Publishers need to appear in the News Page Index and abide by Facebook’s Publisher Guidelines. There are also standards, including towards misinformation, which will largely be based on information from third-party fact-checkers. Facebook is also going to roll-out local news and community information tab Today In in the near future.
The product is clearly designed to challenge Apple News. The test begins just one day after CNN revealed it was planning a digital news service.