Meta Decision to Shut Down Facebook News Tab to Take Effect in US and Australia

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Meta Decision to Shut Down Facebook News Tab to Take Effect in US and Australia

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has officially announced its decision to discontinue its efforts in establishing itself as a primary online news outlet. In a late Thursday announcement, Meta revealed plans to shut down the Facebook News tab across both the US and Australia, slated for early April 2024.

The Facebook News tab was introduced less than five years ago, in October 2019. It aimed to offer users a distinct news feed separate from their personal profiles, providing access to top stories of the day along with dedicated sections covering sports, health, science, and more. However, towards the end of 2023, the Facebook News tab ceased operations in several major European markets.

In its recent blog post announcing the closure in the US and Australia, Meta reiterated the rationale behind its decision, similar to the explanation provided for the European shutdown. Meta highlighted that news content accounted for only about 3 percent of the average user’s Facebook consumption. Moreover, there was a staggering 80 percent decline in Facebook News usage among users in the US and Australia over the past year. Meta emphasized its intent to focus its developmental efforts on content more aligned with user preferences, particularly short-form videos.

Nevertheless, the discontinuation of Facebook News does not signify the departure of news organizations from the platform. Meta assured:

Users will still have access to news article links on Facebook. News publishers will retain access to their Facebook accounts and Pages, enabling them to share article links and direct traffic to their websites, akin to any other entity or individual.

Meta maintains existing Facebook News agreements with publishers in Australia, France, and Germany. These agreements will remain in effect until their respective expiration dates.

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