Meta to sunset Facebook News in the U.S. and Australia in April

Meta announced that it will deprecate Facebook News, a dedicated tab in the bookmarks section of Facebook highlighting news, in the United States and Australia starting early April 2024. This decision comes in the wake of a similar move in the UK, France, and Germany, as Meta aims to streamline its focus on products and services aligned with user preferences.

According to Meta, the utilization of Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. witnessed an 80% decline over the past year, prompting the company to reallocate resources to areas of greater user interest. In a blog post, Meta stated, “This is part of an ongoing effort to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most. As a company, we have to focus our time and resources on things people tell us they want to see more of on the platform, including short form video.”

The company clarified that the cessation of the Facebook News feature will not impact other Meta products and services in these countries. Users can still access links to news articles on Facebook, while news publishers will retain access to their accounts and Pages. Publishers can continue to post links to their stories, redirecting users to their websites as any other individual or organization would. Additionally, news organizations can leverage Meta’s features such as Reels and the ad system to broaden their audience and drive traffic to their websites, keeping 100% of the revenue generated from outbound links on Facebook.

Meta attributed the decision to regulatory developments and its strategic shift away from investing in new products. Legislative changes in countries like Australia and Canada compelled platforms to remunerate online publishers for their content, prompting Meta to block news links for Canadian users in August of the preceding year.

Addressing future plans, Meta emphasized that it has no intentions of investing in new news-related products. The company stated, “To ensure that we continue to invest in products and services that drive user engagement, we will not enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in these countries and will not offer new Facebook products specifically for news publishers in the future.” 

Written by Sophie Blake


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