“Timely news video is the latest step in our strategy to make targeted investments in new types of programming on Facebook Watch,” Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships for Facebook, said in a statement to Axios, which broke the news.
“As part of our broader effort to support quality news on Facebook, we plan to meet with a wide range of potential partners to develop, learn and innovate on news programming tailored to succeed in a social environment,” he added.
The Watch feature was launched to US users last August to allow them to discover videos from outside their feed more easily and was hailed by some as being effectively the start of Facebook TV.
The creation of a standalone news section, said Axios, will enable Facebook to guide readers to credible sources, an important consideration at a time when the platform has been under fire for its role in the dissemination of fake news.
It also gives the company a chance to work more strategically with publishers on achieving their branding and monetization goals, it added.
Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm 18 month ago to give greater weight to posts from friends and family than those from news publishers, since when publishers have seen Flipboard rise up the rankings of traffic drivers to news sites on mobile, according to figures from media analytics firm Parse.ly.
In a separate development, Apple has acquired Texture, a digital magazine subscription service, signalling its “commitment to quality journalism from trusted sources”, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
The move could help Apple expand Apple News on iOS and its subscription business more broadly, Axios suggested.
Sourced from Axios, Apple; additional content by WARC staff