DFrom Tuesday 15 February, Facebook inaugurates in France its news feed reserved for journalistic content. Baptized Facebook News, this new service is intended to be a guarantee of increased visibility for the media and a symbol in the face of accusations of misinformation that target the social network. Initially, it will begin to be rolled out to a small number of French Facebook users.
After this launch, its generalization will be gradual and Facebook News should be available to all users in France by May, according to Meta, the American group that owns the social network. France becomes the fifth country where Facebook News is launched, after the United States at the end of 2019, the United Kingdom in January 2021, Germany in May, then Australia in August. “Next to the classic Facebook News Feed [où apparaît du contenu partagé par les amis et contacts de l’utilisateur, NDLR]Facebook News is the place where we only provide information from verified sources”, because produced by real media, explained Jesper Doub, director of partnerships with news media for Europe at Meta, to Agence France-Presse.
A generalization planned by May
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), announced by Facebook in October. This agreement plans to remunerate French daily press publishers for two years for the use of their content. Under this agreement, many national or regional daily newspapers are included in Facebook News, including Le Parisien/Today in France, Le Figaro, Le Journal du dimanche, Les Echosthe newspapers of the Ebra group (Progress, Alsaceetc) Nice morning or The voice of the North. At the same time, Meta has concluded agreements with other media which are thus also included in Facebook News at its launch, including BFMTV/RMC, Capital, Current Woman, The Team, L’Express, Liberation Where here is.
Concretely, Facebook News will be accessible via a new tab in the Facebook application. By clicking on this tab, the user will access an information feed which will present journalistic content in the form of thumbnails, with the title of the article, an image and the name of the media. No content can be read on the Facebook page itself: these thumbnails will contain links to the media site. It will therefore not be possible to read a paid article for free.
Facebook accused of spreading false information
Facebook has 40 million monthly users in France. The launch of Facebook News comes as the social network is regularly accused of being a channel for spreading false information via content from dubious sources. Meta pays more than 80 media worldwide, including AFP, under a content verification program. But the contract signed as part of Facebook News is separate from this agreement.