Facebook ends funding for US News Partnerships program

Meta Platforms says it will no longer pay US news organizations for their material to appear in the Facebook news tab because it reallocates resources in the face of the economic downturn and changes user behavior.

The company said Thursday that most people “don’t come to Facebook for news, and as a business, it doesn’t make sense to overinvest in areas that don’t align with user preferences.”

Meta, then called Facebook, launched Partnerships in 2019. The “News tab” section of the Facebook mobile app shows only headlines — and nothing else — from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, and NBC USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, among others, did not say how much the company was paying news organizations, but reports put it in the millions of dollars for major outlets like the Wall Street Journal.

The Associated Press was not involved in the initiative.

At the time the program was launched, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Associated Press that he saw “an opportunity to establish new, long-term, stable financial relationships with publishers.”

But Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, California, said in a statement Thursday that “a lot has changed since we signed deals three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the US.”

On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. First decline in revenue in its history and weak results are expected for the current quarter as well.

Meta does not pay for the news content that outlets publish on its platform. The company said Thursday that the news tab deals were for “additional content, for example, ensuring that we could access more links to their articles and that we were including a range of thematic areas at launch.”

The company said Facebook News will continue in other countries currently in place, and the shift in the US will not change deals in those places – the UK, France, Germany and Australia.

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