In a turn of events, Facebook has announced the launch of Facebook News, a new section of the social network that will show users a personalized selection of news stories. The company said in a statement, “News gives people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app”. The rollout is to begin from October 25, but some users won’t see it immediately.
The move comes as Facebook has struggled to curb the viral sharing of false information on its service. Facebook came under criticism in 2016 after a former employee that the company routinely suppressed news stories that were of interest to conservative readers in its “trending” news section. Facebook denied the allegations, but it ultimately killed the feature in 2018. More recently, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced criticism for Facebook’s policy of allowing political ads with false information to run on the site.
Facebook News will include local reporting for large cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. At launch, the product will be shown only to a subset of users in the U.S. Among the publications that will be shown in Facebook News are The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, USA Today and NBCUniversal, which includes CNBC.