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Facebook seeks publisher deals before news tab launch

Newspapers

Facebook seeks publisher deals before news tab launch

Social networking behemoth Facebook is reportedly approaching a number of high-profile news publishers in the hope of securing a licensing deal to publish news stories and other related content, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Should any deals be made, they could be worth millions, with the social site willing to offer up to $3m a year for licensing rights. It is believed that among the outlets already approached are Bloomberg, The Washington Post and ABC News.

The Wall Street Journal report suggests that Facebook wants to include content from these publishers in a new dedicated news section of the site, which it plans to launch in the autumn. It is estimated that these deals would be as long as three years and publishers would be given control over how content would appear on Facebook, as well as whether readers would be given a Snippet, or even just a headline before being directed to the publisher’s own website.

Facebook has an ever-changing stance on news, and recent times have seen it promoting content from local publishers. It also decided against moving the content of publishers to a separate tab within the mobile versions of the app.

After a turbulent few years for Facebook, which has seen the company have to combat issues including fake news, privacy concerns and troubled relationships with content creators, the company is now hoping to try its hand at news again. However, it will have to reassure users that it is on top – or at least getting on top – of its fake news problems before they begin to start trusting Facebook as a reliable news source.

It is not yet clear what will happen with Facebook’s attempt to win publishers over or whether they’ll agree terms but it is clear that the company wants to focus on news once again and is willing to splash the cash to win journalists and publishers over.

This may be of interest to publishers, as it could lead to a surge in referral traffic from Facebook to their own site, and could see their content reaching a larger audience. Content is one of the main driving forces behind any website’s traffic and should be at the heart of any marketing campaign. Speak to Engage Web about the content we can supply for you.

Alan Littler

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