After the United States at the end of 2019, the UK in January 2021, Germany in May and Australia in August, Facebook is launching in France from Facebook News Tuesday, its news feed reserved for journalistic content. A key to increased media visibility and a symbol of disinformation charges against the social network, the service will initially be rolled out to a small number of French Facebook users. Its rollout will be gradual and Facebook news should be available to all users in France by May, according to Meta, the US group that owns the social network.
“Apart from the classic Facebook News Feed, Facebook News is a place where we only provide information from trusted sources.”because it is produced by real media, explained Agence France Presse (AFP) Jesper Dub, director of media partnerships in Europe at Meta. The launch of Facebook News in France was made possible by the signing of a framework agreement with the Alliance for General Information Press (APIG), which Facebook announced in October.
Multiple media available
Under this agreement, French daily press publishers are paid for two years for the use of their content. Under this agreement, many national or regional dailies are included in Facebook News, including Le Parisien-Today in France, Le Figaro, Sunday paper, Echonewspapers of the Ebra group (Progress, Alsaceetc.), Great morning, or Voice of the North.
At the same time, Meta has entered into agreements with other media, which are thus also included in the Facebook news at its launch, including BFM-TV – RMC, Capital, Current Woman, L’Equipe, L’Express, Liberation Where here.
“Discussions are ongoing and other partners will definitely join the list”Mathieu Fritsch, Meta’s head of media partnerships in France and Southern Europe, told AFP.
Today’s news and attractions
Specifically, Facebook news will be available across new tab in the Facebook app. By clicking on this tab, the user will have access to the information feed, which will present journalistic content in the form of thumbnails, with the title of the article, the image and the name of the media. The content on the Facebook page itself cannot be read: these thumbnails will contain links to the media site. Therefore, it will not be possible to read a paid article for free.
Facebook News will consist of two sections. One, common to all users, will present the top news of the day, “like the eight o’clock television news”, according to Mr. Dub. The other will be personalized according to the interests of the user. For the user, Facebook news will also be a guarantee “qualitative” and from “diversity” in access to information, according to Mr. Fritsch.
For the media it will “a great opportunity to expand your audience” according to him, covering a different audience, even get new subscribers. Facebook has 40 million monthly users in France.
The launch of Facebook News comes amid the fact that the social network is regularly accused of being a channel for spreading false information. across content from dubious sources. “We are convinced that journalism is essential to the health of our democracies”assured Mr. Doub.
The content displayed in the section shared by all users will be selected by journalists working for AFP’s subsidiary, Media Services. This choice “recognition of the experience and quality of work of our sister company specializing in editorial content on demand”AFP CEO Fabrice Fries commented, quoted in a Meta press release.
Meta pays over 80 media outlets worldwide, including Peace and AFP through the Content Review Program. But the contract signed under Facebook News is separate from that agreement.