Google has its Google News page, but Facebook is looking to one-up the social media giant with a newswire all its own. Facebook just rolled out FB Newswire, powered by Storyful, a player in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms.
Here's the reasoning, as laid out by Andy Mitchell, Facebook's director of News and Global Media Partnerships: Every day, news is made on Facebook. More than 1 billion people already use the social networking platform to discover, explore and take part in headline-making events around the world.
FB Newswire, Mitchell said, aims to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce. Will journalists buy it?
News Audience Increasing
"The most interesting part with FB Newswire for me is the fact that it could help me reach first-hand sources who would be updating their FB timelines and profiles with this information ," wrote Itika Sharma Punit, a blogger for the Business Standard, a financial publication in India. "Maybe, I can try and connect with them directly if I wish to get more information, (So, no more making random phonecalls to people, trying to find first-hand sources?)"
FB Newswire aggregates content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations around the world so journalists can use it in their reporting. The wire will include original photos, videos and status updates posted by people on the front lines of major events like protests, elections and sporting events, and verified by Facebook.
"News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before. Journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook, which is visible in features like Trending Topics, improvements to Pages, and recent changes to News Feed," Mitchell said. "Publishers are seeing the results of our commitment, with referral traffic from Facebook to media sites growing more than four times in 2013, and we're excited to deepen our relationship with media organizations and journalists in the days to come."
Will Marketers Like It?
We've heard what at least one journalist thinks of FB Newswire, but what do online marketers have to say? We caught up with Nipa Shah, founder of the online marketing firm Jenesys Group, to get her take on what kind of effect FB Newswire could have on the market.
"Hopefully it will reduce access costs to get the news out and give consumers better reach due to targeted audiences available through Facebook's amazing demographic data ," Shah told us. "A study long ago reported that 70 percent of reporters get their story ideas from social media. That percentage is definitely greater now, and with FB Newswire stories will get enhanced visibility faster. I'm excited to see how I can use it for my clients."