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Facebook wants to make it easier for publishers to make money

For the last couple of years, Facebook has presented news organizations with difficult choices about how to publish their journalism. On one hand, editors and producers can put stories exclusively on their own properties and use Facebook to drive readership back to their websites, where their conventional advertisements live. Alternatively, they can publish some or all of their content directly … Read More
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Where are local advertisers going? Facebook, new research suggests

Forecaster and analyst Gordon Borrell has just published his summer survey of 7,500 local advertisers with results that manage to be alarming but at the same time not surprising. Yes, there is a strong swing to digital and social. And yes, most advertisers subtract from their legacy media budgets to increase digital spending. But particularly striking is a … Read More
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Dan Rather is worried about Facebook's lack of transparency

In a note (on Facebook, no less) legendary anchor and longtime newsman Dan Rather voiced concern about the social network's "mysterious algorithms" while heralding its potential as a "tremendous force for good." In his nearly 500-word post, Rather cites Facebook as among the "literally world changing" social networks that are "reimagining my chosen line of work and all of … Read More
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Facebook should hire fact-checkers. Here's what they would do

Media criticism of Facebook is pouring in after a lack of editorial oversight on Monday led to a new Trending Topics-related hiccup (in case you missed it, the social network highlighted a totally fake story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly). While the previous brouhaha erupted over the tricky ethical issue of whether Facebook should balance political perspectives … Read More
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Facebook tweaks News Feed to favor 'personally informative' stories

Facebook's ever-changing News Feed got yet another update Thursday when the social network announced it's changing the algorithm to favor "personally informative stories." On the heels of changes that smothered clickbait and emphasized posts from friends and family, Facebook said it's created a "new ranking signal" that will evaluate feedback from users to determine if posts are … Read More
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In the ad-blocking war, publishers gain an important ally in Facebook

News this morning that Facebook will block ad-blockers on most desktop displays may be mainly about preserving its own huge ad revenue base. But a quick sampling of reactions confirmed that the move will be highly welcomed by publishers and the advertising community, deeply worried about the growing ad-blocking threat. It's good to have the king of the internet … Read More
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Facebook's 'friends-first' algorithm tweak may not have hit yet

Publishers that rely heavily on referral traffic from Facebook had a bad day last week when the social network announced that it was changing its News Feed algorithm to emphasize posts from friends and family over the news. Those concerned about the change should brace themselves, because data indicates that it may not have taken effect yet. That's according … Read More
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At long last, Facebook articulates a set of news values

Journalists have long torn their hair out and stamped their feet as Facebook — which has a symbiotic relationship with news organizations — declined to spell out the intricacies of its influential News Feed. Rather than pull back the curtain on its algorithm entirely, which many tech companies are loath to do, Facebook instead advised news organizations which types of stories … Read More
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How CNNMoney is getting to know its audience

When controversies about Facebook started making the news recently, staffers at CNNMoney knew quickly it was a topic their audience was very interested in. How? A tool they built told them. "We knew that they were hungry for that," said Leezel Tanglao, assistant managing editor of programming, "and we saw it surging." That notice came from the proprietary tool, … Read More
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Newsrooms are experimenting on Facebook Live by eating cheese. And newspapers.

Facebook Live was made available widely in April, and already, a curious subset of live-streams are dominating the genre: The spectacle video. As Noah Kulwin wrote for Recode, it's "turning journalists into bad 'Jackass' copycats." Frankly, Johnny Knoxville and the "Jackass" crew were a lot funnier than stunts like these, and there wasn't a lot of anxiety about … Read More
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In the wake of furor, Facebook publishes explainer on Trending Topics

Facebook sought to quell the controversy stemming from accusations of bias creeping into its Trending Topics feature Thursday, publishing an explainer that breaks down the inner workings of the curation feature. At its core, Trending Topics is designed to help people discover major events and meaningful conversations. Trending Topics is a feature we added in 2014 — separate from … Read More
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WANTED: Public Editor, Facebook

Editor's note: On Monday, Poynter's media ethicist, Kelly McBride, proposed an out-of-the-ordinary idea: A public editor for Facebook, someone hired by the social network to write about the company and its controversies from the public's point of view. As Facebook continues to deal with the fallout from an anonymously sourced report indicating its Trending Topics feature suppressed conservative … Read More
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Ask the ethicist: Is it right for Facebook to suppress conservative news?

Gizmodo ignited a social media firestorm today when it reported that curators for Facebook's "trending" section regularly put the kibosh on right-leaning news stories. The story, attributed to anonymous sources, was notable in part because of Facebook's status as a media behemoth that directs a firehose of traffic at news organizations every day. But it also made waves because … Read More
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So, you want to try Facebook Live? Here are 10 tips for using the livestreaming app

There's no getting around it: Journalists everywhere must become more comfortable in front of the camera. The rise of livestreaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope last year empowered journalists to instantly reach their followers directly. And when Facebook made its livestreaming feature widely available earlier this year, the trend toward on-the-spot video only accelerated. But many news organizations, even … Read More
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Publishing on Facebook's Instant Articles is about to get way easier with a Wordpress plugin

Facebook announced Monday morning a new WordPress plugin for Instant Articles, essentially greasing the skids for mass adoption of the program among news organizations. The plugin is being built in partnership with Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, and helps translate news stories to Facebook's Instant Articles format. This removes a significant hurdle for news organizations, which previously needed someone … Read More