Facebook U-turn sees it offer millions to license premium news content

Facebook U-turn sees it offer millions to license premium news content

Facebook has announced a dramatic change in policy in its approach to news organisations by announcing that it will pay to license content after all having previously attempted to introduce an ad-sharing model.

The shift will be welcomed by premium content providers such as ABC News, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post which stand to make as much as $3m per year to supply articles for a planned news-focussed section of Facebook.

The social network is reportedly ready to launch its current affairs initiative as early as this year with partners signing up for three-year terms.

Facebook’s change of heart follows widespread criticism of the key role it plays in the distribution of ‘fake news’ and clickbait articles which hold no informational value to readers.

Whether the change of heart goes far enough to convince media companies it is worth their time to participate remains to be seen however, with none thought to have signed on the dotted line as yet.

Facebook has previously sought to clampdown on clickbait by relying on algorithms to reduce the number of spam articles confrontung members browsing their news feeds.

[More: It’s too easy to see Facebook and Google as 'the baddies' – others must help save news]

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