Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that it will be discontinuing the “Facebook News” feature in the UK, France, and Germany. This decision comes as part of the company’s efforts to enhance its products and services. While users will still have access to news articles through links and European news publishers will retain their Facebook accounts and pages, Meta will no longer form new commercial deals or offer product innovations for news content on “Facebook News” in these countries.
The “Facebook News” feature, which provides a curated feed of news articles, will no longer be available in the bookmarks section of the Facebook app. Meta emphasizes that news only makes up a small percentage of content seen on the platform, with less than 3 percent of users’ Facebook feeds consisting of news. This suggests that news discovery plays a minor role in the overall Facebook experience for the majority of its users.
However, Meta’s decision to discontinue “Facebook News” in these countries has come under scrutiny due to the increasing pressure faced by technology companies, like Meta and Alphabet, to share a higher percentage of their advertising revenue with news publishers. Governments around the world, including Canada and Australia, have implemented laws requiring internet giants to compensate news publishers for using their content.
Meta has already taken steps to comply with these regulations. In Canada, Meta has blocked news on its Facebook and Instagram platforms for all users, while Australia implemented a similar law in 2021. The company’s actions align with the objective of the new laws and demonstrate its willingness to adapt and adhere to local regulations.
According to the blog post by Meta, the decision to discontinue “Facebook News” in the UK, France, and Germany is part of its strategy to focus on what users primarily come to Facebook for: connecting with people and discovering new opportunities. By shifting its focus away from news and political content, Meta aims to provide a more tailored experience centered around personal connections and serendipitous discovery.
Meta Platforms’ announcement to discontinue the “Facebook News” feature in the UK, France, and Germany signifies its commitment to refining its products and services. While news articles will still be accessible through links and European news publishers will maintain their presence on Facebook, the company will no longer pursue new commercial deals or product innovations specifically for news content in these countries.
The decision by Meta reflects a larger trend within the technology industry, as governments continue to introduce regulations to ensure fair compensation for news publishers. Meta’s actions in Canada and Australia show its willingness to comply with these regulations and adapt its platforms accordingly.
Moving forward, Meta intends to prioritize the aspects of Facebook that attract users the most, which are personal connections and the discovery of new opportunities. By streamlining its focus away from news, the company aims to provide a more tailored and engaging experience for its users worldwide.