Facebook launching dedicated and curated News section, testing first in the US

Written 7 months ago by IanDorfman

Starting today in a limited alpha state in the United States, Facebook News aims to combat disinformation and fake stories from running rampant throughout the social network by introducing curated articles that provide factual reporting.

In the official post announcing the new section, Facebook's Vice President of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown and Facebook News Product Manager Mona Sarantakos laid out the following features as what will make Facebook News "valuable" to users of the social network:

Today’s Stories chosen by a team of journalists to catch you up on the news throughout the day
Personalization based on the news you read, share and follow, so you can find new interests and topics and Facebook News is fresh and interesting every time you open it
Topic sections to dive deeper into business, entertainment, health, science & tech, and sports
Your Subscriptions, a section for people who have linked their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account
Controls to hide articles, topics, and publishers you don’t want to see

In addition to the announcement post, Small Facebook iconFacebook has set up a page dedicated to explaining how Facebook News works. It will be separated into the following 4 categories:

General: Outlets that publish "a range of topics"
Topical: Specific categories such as business, science, sports, tech, etc.
Diverse: Stories that focus on people defined as minorities by the US Census: Black/African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
Local news: Published content from local sources starting with "the top 10 U.S. metro markets" at launch, with more rolling out in the future

In order to filter out news sources at sign up, multiple criteria must be met, including audience size and verification from third-party fact checkers across the world such as the Associated Press and Agence France Presse. Facebook has set up an index of the third parties it has partnered with the verify content on its Help Center.

As it is made available, Facebook News will be accessible at https://www.facebook.com/news . The U.S. roll out is planned across the remainder of 2019 and through 2020.

Further coverage:
Facebook Newsroom
Engadget
Recode
TechCrunch
The Verge