Categories: Technology

Meta to Remove News Tab on Facebook in U.S. and Australia

  • Meta announces removal of news tab on Facebook in U.S. and Australia due to declining usage and regulatory pressures.
  • Existing deals with publishers to remain until expiry; no new commercial deals for news content in these countries.
  • Meta prioritizes products driving user engagement, signaling strategic shift away from news-related investments.
Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane

In a strategic move to distance itself from news-related regulations and complexities, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced its decision to sunset the news tab on Facebook in the United States and Australia by April 2024. This decision comes after Meta discontinued Facebook News in the UK, Germany, and France last year, citing a shift in focus towards products and services that users value the most.

Declining Usage and Regulatory Pressure

Meta revealed that the number of people using Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. has plummeted by 80% over the past year. This decline in usage underscores a shift in user preferences towards other content formats, particularly short-form video. Additionally, regulatory moves in countries like Australia and Canada have prompted Meta to reassess its investments in news-related products.

Regulatory Landscape

Legislations in Australia and Canada have compelled platforms like Facebook to pay online publishers for their content. In response to these regulatory changes, Meta started blocking news links for users in Canada last August. The fate of Facebook News’ shutdown is intricately tied to these regulatory pressures, which have influenced Meta’s decision to withdraw from investing in new news-related products.

Impact on Publishers and Users

While existing deals with publishers will remain in place until expiry, Meta’s decision not to enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in Australia and the U.S. signifies a shift in its approach. Users in these countries will still be able to share news on their feeds, but Meta emphasized that it will not invest in new news-related products or services in the future.

Focus on User Engagement

Meta’s move aligns with its broader strategy of prioritizing products and services that drive user engagement. Instagram head Adam Mosseri previously stated that the company is not amplifying news on Threads, a social network launched by Meta. This strategic shift underscores Meta’s commitment to streamlining its offerings and navigating regulatory complexities in the news media landscape.

Conclusion

Meta’s decision to remove the news tab on Facebook in the U.S. and Australia reflects its efforts to adapt to evolving user preferences and regulatory landscapes. While this move may have implications for publishers and users, Meta’s focus on prioritizing products and services that drive user engagement remains unwavering. As the digital media landscape continues to evolve, Meta’s strategic decisions will likely continue to shape the future of online content consumption

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo