Facebook on Tuesday announced that it would pay news publishers in India and other countries for their content. The social media giant had launched Facebook News in the US earlier this year to help news publishers broaden their audiences but now Facebook will expand the feature to India, UK, Germany, France and Brazil in the coming months.
"Based on this progress, we are accelerating our plans to expand internationally. We aim to launch Facebook News in multiple countries within the next six months to a year and are considering the UK, Germany, France, India, and Brazil. In each country, we'll pay news publishers to ensure their content is available in the new product," Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships, Facebook said in a blog.
Brown in the blog revealed that over 95 per cent of the traffic Facebook News gets for the publishers "is incremental to the traffic they already get from News Feed".
Facebook also said that it will work closely with the popular news publishers in the country to make the experience better. "Consumer habits and news inventory vary by country, so we'll work closely with news partners in each country to tailor the experience and test ways to deliver a valuable experience for people while also honoring publishers' business models," the blog read.
Interestingly, while Facebook has included all the important countries in its expansion list it has carefully dropped Australia. A few months ago, Australia had ordered tech giant Google and Facebook to pay for the news content it sources from media houses. The move was first initiated by France, which is on Facebook's expansion list. France had asked Google to pay for the news content that it sources from the French publishers. Spain too followed suit nothing happened there.
The countries had expressed their issue with the business model which involves sourcing of news content from various publishers. It was reported that Google and Facebook take a bigger share of the profits from the content they don't produce and the original publishers get only peanuts as a share of the total revenue. In the case of Facebook, the social media giant lets media organizations post news stories on the social media page and shows advertisements of its own choice. Only a fraction of the ad revenue goes to the news publishers.
However, Facebook said that it will "keep building new products and making global investments to help the news industry build long-lasting business models."
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