Facebook’s Plan to Include Videos in Its News Feed Draws Suspicion from Publishers

Oct 06

Facebook has been under pressure to combat the prevalence of fake news on its platform, which prompted the company to implement measures such as blocking ads from companies that shared unreliable content last year. But the social media giant is taking a step even further by making legit videos from trusted news outlets more accessible to its users.

Facebook is currently wooing 10 major news organizations to supply its platform with news video updates daily. If the plan pushes through, these news videos will be 3 minutes in length which may also appear in the site’s News Feed.

However, the main destination for these 3-minute videos will be the Watch tab, the site’s hub for original video content. Apparently, Facebook is planning to put up a section on the Watch tab that will host these news videos.

Facebook is shooting for a summer rollout of the new feature. At the moment, the social media company is in negotiations with the news companies on how much it will pay for the videos as well as the possible revenue sharing arrangements.

Incidentally, Facebook’s latest move is exactly the solution suggested by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Last January, Murdoch said that the social media platform should be willing to pay news publishers for trusted content as a solution to the fake news problem.

However, some publishers are a bit skeptical of Facebook’s latest pitch given the company’s history of enthusiastically introducing new initiatives then cutting back financial support afterward. For instance, the social media giant signed 12-month deals with a number of video creators which include The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and CNN. However, the company did not renew after the contract expired which became a problem for these publishers.

An unnamed publishing executive, which was quoted in an article appearing in The Wall Street Journal, sums up the cautious stance of these news organizations quite nicely.

“I think anytime Facebook is willing to pay, we’re more willing to play. The problem is that when these pilot programs expire, there is still no clear revenue channel. Then you’re stuck.”

At the moment, Facebook declined to comment on the concerns raised by publishers.

[Featured image via Facebook]

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