Meta To Shut Down Facebook News Tab In The U.S. And Australia


Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced its decision to sunset the news tab on Facebook in the U.S. and Australia by April 2024. This move comes as part of the company’s effort to reallocate resources and focus on products and services that are more valued by users.

Key Takeaway

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is phasing out the news tab on Facebook in the U.S. and Australia by April 2024, citing declining user engagement and regulatory complexities. The move reflects Meta’s strategic shift away from news-related products and its focus on prioritizing user-valued services.

Declining User Engagement and Regulatory Pressures

The decision to discontinue the news tab follows a significant decline in user engagement, with the number of people using Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. dropping by 80% over the past year. Meta emphasized that news content accounts for less than 3% of what users see on their feeds, indicating that the impact of this change may be minimal for most users.

Furthermore, regulatory developments in countries such as Australia and Canada have contributed to Meta’s decision. Legislations in these countries have mandated platforms to pay online publishers for their content, leading to complexities and challenges for the company.

Impact on Publishers and Future Plans

As Meta moves away from news-related products, publishers have observed a decline in referral traffic from Facebook over the years. Despite the shutdown of the news tab, existing deals with publishers will remain unaffected until their expiry. Additionally, users in Australia and the U.S. will still be able to share news on their feeds, and publishers can continue to manage their pages and post links.

However, Meta has clarified that it does not intend to invest in new news-related products or enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in these countries. The company aims to prioritize products and services that drive user engagement, signaling a strategic shift away from news-related initiatives.

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