Show appreciation for your kind and generous digital overlord.
Facebook is set to launch its latest feature, news tab, this fall — setting up yet another political battle over what media outlets are or aren’t promoted by the tech giant. While the company has taken great pains to emphasize that it will be different this time around, one thing remains eminently the same: Not all participating publishers will benefit to the same degree.
That’s because, as the Wall Street Journal reports, only roughly 25 percent of the 200 participating publications will receive any monetary compensation from the tech giant in exchange for allowing Facebook to populate its news tab with their content. The remaining 150 will apparently be doing it out of the kindness of their digital media hearts. Well, that and the hopes of raking in that sweet, sweet incoming web traffic.
We first learned about the news tab in August, with reports indicating that publications would likely be signing three-year deals with Facebook to feature their content in some way. Facebook has hired a team of real people to curate the news tab, and has reportedly established editorial guidelines for those employees to follow.
But back to the money. According to the Journal, Facebook is offering “as high as $3 million a year for national news outlets to several hundred thousand dollars for regional publications.”
Again, that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones.
Speaking of lucky, the question of which 200 publications will be featured in the news tab is worth asking. That Facebook has hired actual humans to curate the section inspires confidence, but, as with many things Facebook, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.
Notably, the Journal notes that “stories from Breitbart might appear” in the news tab. For those unfamiliar with Breitbart (bless your sweet heart), the site is known as a collection of articles soaked in thinly veiled racism and bigotry that even Wikipedia says is unreliable as a news source. But hey, that’s kind of Facebook’s bread and butter.
With the specific sites getting paid by Facebook as of yet not publicly delineated, there is an actual possibility that Facebook might one day pay Breitbart for the privilege (cough) of promoting its articles.
But hey, it’s Facebook’s (news tab) world. We’re all just living in the unfortunate consequences of it.
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