Facebook ends funding for US Press Partnerships Program

Meta Platforms says it will no longer pay US news outlets to have their material appear on Facebook’s News tab as it reallocates resources in the face of the economic downturn and changing user behavior.

The company said Thursday that most people “don’t come to Facebook for news, and as a business, it doesn’t make sense to invest too much in areas that don’t align with user preferences.”

Meta, then called Facebook, launched the partnerships in 2019. The “News Tab” section of the Facebook mobile app only displays headlines – and nothing else – from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News , Business Insider, NBC, USA. Today and the Los Angeles Times, among others. The company didn’t say how much it pays news outlets, but reports put it at millions of dollars for major outlets such as the Wall Street Journal.

The Associated Press did not participate in the initiative.

At the time of the program’s launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the AP that he saw “an opportunity to establish new, stable, long-term financial relationships with publishers.”

But Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., said in a statement Thursday that “a lot has changed since we signed agreements three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the United States”.

On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. posted its first revenue decline in its history and also forecast weak results for the current quarter.

Meta does not pay for news content that outlets post on its platform. The News Tab deals, the company said on Thursday, were for “incremental content, for example, making sure we had access to more of their article links and included a range of topics at launch.”

The company said Facebook News will continue in the other countries it is currently in and the change in the US will not change agreements in those locations – the UK, France, Germany and Australia. .