August 22, 2017

A common complaint from publishers who use Facebook is that every story looks the same. Whether it’s from CNN, The New York Times or BuzzFeed, they all have the same basic elements: Photo, headline, blurb and source. That can be a problem, especially for newsrooms that want to set themselves apart from the scourge of fake news (read: all of them).

Now, Facebook is rolling out a tweak that helps news organizations distinguish themselves a little better.

Facebook today added publisher logos next to articles in Trending and Search. Publishers can now upload multiple versions of their logos that will appear next to their content on Facebook. Eventually, Facebook plans to extend these logos to “all places where people consume news on our platform,” according to a blog post from Andrew Anker, a product manager at Facebook:

“By surfacing publisher logos next to article links, we want to make it easier for publishers to extend their brand identity on Facebook — to enhance people’s awareness of the source of content they see on Facebook, so they can better decide what to read and share,” Anker wrote.

Here’s the difference:

Photo courtesy Facebook.

Photo courtesy Facebook.

The heightened brand recognition is the latest in a series of developments made by Facebook at the request of publishers. The social media giant has begun to give publishers the opportunity to recruit subscribers, and it recently began testing products to connect its users to local news.

The move by Facebook aligns with NPR’s mission to create a more informed public,” said Lori Todd, social editor for NPR.

“It’s more important than ever for users to easily identify where they’re getting information from,” Todd said. “We’re encouraged that Facebook has taken feedback from users and publishers and created an easy-to-use tool that could improve the news experience on the platform.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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