July 19, 2024
Facebook plans to shut down its news tab in the U.S. and Australia


Meta is trying to distance itself from news media-related regulations and payment complexities as it is planning to remove the news tab on Facebook in the U.S. and Australia. The company said today that it will sunset the product in April 2024.

Last year, Meta discontinued Facebook News in the UK, Germany, and France saying that it wanted to allocate resources “to our products and services people value the most.” The tone of the latest announcement is similar.

The social media company said that the number of people using Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. dropped by 80% in the last year.

“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,” it noted.

Last year, Meta said that news is less than 3% of the content of what people see on the feed. Likely, users might not notice this depreciation. Over the years, publishers have also seen a drop in referral traffic from Facebook.

The fate of Facebook News’ shutdown is due to regulatory moves and Meta’s withdrawal from investing in new products. Legislations passed in countries Australia and Canada resulted in authorities asking platforms to pay online publishers for their content. The company started blocking news links for users in Canada in August last year.

Meta specified that today’s announcement doesn’t affect current deals the company has in place with publishers until expiry. Plus, in Australia and the U.S. people will be able to share news on their feeds and publishers will be able to manage their pages and post links there.

The company emphasized that it is not planning to invest in new news-related products.

“Additionally, 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,” it said.

Meta has pulled back from allocating efforts towards news consistently. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said last year that the company is “not going to amplify news” on Threads, a social network it launched last year.



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