Do you get your news from Facebook?

For better or worse, many people use Facebook to get their news and stay up to date with current events.

With the introduction of the “News” tab in 2019, Facebook focused on providing people with access to current events and content from trusted news sources. While on your news feed, you can click on the “News” tab and your normal feed is replaced with current events, news stories and articles from a variety of publishers. Facebook’s algorithm keeps track of your interests and then provides you with relevant and interesting news articles accordingly.  This makes staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the world as easy as logging in to Facebook and scrolling away.

This was made possible for a few reasons. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, made an intentional effort to promote news content, making it easier for users to access, share and interact with. In 2019, Meta made several deals with news publishers like the New York times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Bloomberg and others, worth over $105 million. These 3-year contracts signaled an effort by Meta to prioritize quality news content on the platform.

Meta pays publishers big bucks for access to their news content

Meta spent over $3 million on its news partnership with CNN, $10 million on the Wall Street Journal, and gave over $20 million to the New York Times. These partnerships helped Facebook users gain access to premium news content, increasing the reach these publications can have, while also giving legitimacy to Facebook as a reputable source of news content.

With these massive contracts, the news produced by these sources reached readers whether they paid for a subscription or not. Often, content that would have otherwise been locked behind a paywall was made available to Facebook users who found the content in their “News” tab. This has caused many to become accustomed to reading free news from the New York Times or Washington Post, which they could conveniently find right on their Facebook profile.

As of July 2022, however, the landscape of Facebook News is slated to change for good.

Meta is no longer prioritizing news content

The 3-year contracts Meta signed with these publications are slated to come to an end this year and there is no intention by Meta to renew them. According to Meta, the news articles these sources produce can still be shared and posted on Facebook, but Meta will no longer be paying publishers for content to run on the Facebook “News” tab.

The decision not to renew comes as Meta’s understanding of their own platform shifts yet again. Even in 2019 when they introduced the “News” tab, Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize content from friends over brands and publishers. It is possible that this is the reason why the “News” tab is no longer being prioritized. In an analysis of posts on an average person’s Facebook feed, fewer than 1/25 posts contained news.

To keep up with changing trends in how people consume content, Meta is shifting the focus of the Facebook feed to short-form video and audio content. It’s decided that spending so much on news is not the most sensible move in the long run.

NICKLpass to the rescue

As publishers like the New York Times shift their budgets to account for these losses, it’s possible that readers might experience changes, too. For one, these news sources might reduce the amount of content they allow us to access for free, making it harder to read news without a subscription. 

More paywalls means more subscriptions to read your daily news, which inevitably means more passwords and monthly payments to remember. With NICKLpass, you can access your favorite news sources with one password, one payment and a single click. This simplifies you and your team’s access to premium news content, helping everyone stay informed.

For publishers, NICKLpass can help distribute content to more users the way Facebook used to. The only difference is that people will be interacting with content that they’re interested in or is useful to them, which helps content get more genuine engagement. 

The “News” tab, though useful, proved to be more of a financial burden than anything particularly useful to the average Facebook user. As Facebook moves away from focusing its attention on paid news, you’ll have to find alternative ways to stay up-to-date. Lucky for you, your NICKLpass is just one click away.