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Facebook Is Testing A News Aggregator Service To A Limited Number Of Users In The U.S.

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Facebook has unveiled its News service with a chosen few publishers in the US. It’s being turned out as a test for a small group of viewers of 200,000 users in the United States. Facebook in a post said,

As we talked to people and publishers, we identified key features to help make Facebook News valuable:

  • 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 

The new Facebook News service will launch with four main categories of publishers including general, topical, diverse and local news. For a start, these 200,000 users will see news from outlets like Fox News, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, USA Today, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, BuzzFeed News, Condé Nast, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Facebook will be paying a licensing fee even as it plans to extend the offer to about 200 other publications.

Facebook News is an aggregator service that displays articles in categories in a more organised way so you can pick and add to your collection news that is of interest to you. Stories will be chosen by a team of editors and journalists at Facebook again as with most news aggregators with the only difference being that Facebook has a bigger audience.  Users will have the option to customize their news area by choosing the topics that appeal to them like sports, health, politics and entertainment among others. The sort of news that users read, share and pursue, the area will naturally gain proficiency with your inclinations and subjects so it shows significant articles. A few distributers permit paid memberships on Facebook.

Many publishers see this as a win in  that Facebook refused to set up such a service in the past for want of agreement with publishers but seeing as the anti-fake news awareness campaign is growing and coming under intense scrutiny from the public and various government institutions, it looks like the social media giant may have decided to bow to the pressure.

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