Meta Platforms to Discontinue “Facebook News” Feature in the UK, France, and Germany

Meta Platforms to Discontinue “Facebook News” Feature in the UK, France, and Germany

Meta Platforms, previously known as Facebook, announced on Tuesday its decision to discontinue the “Facebook News” feature on its social media app in the UK, France, and Germany. This move has raised concerns among news publishers and the public as it could potentially impact the accessibility and reach of news articles on the platform.

A Decline in News Importance

Despite the discontinuation of “Facebook News,” users will still be able to view links to news articles, ensuring that European news publishers maintain access to their Facebook accounts and pages. However, Meta Platforms clarified that they will no longer form new commercial deals or offer product innovations for news content in these countries. This decision reflects the company’s belief that news discovery is a relatively small part of the Facebook experience, constituting less than 3 percent of content seen in users’ feeds globally.

Regulatory Pressure and Compliance

Meta Platforms, alongside other Big Tech companies like Alphabet, has faced mounting pressure from lawmakers worldwide to share a higher percentage of its advertising revenue with news publishers. As a result, Meta has taken steps to block news content on its platforms in response to new legislations such as those implemented in Canada and Australia. By doing so, the company is aligning itself with the legal requirements and ensuring compliance.

The Company’s Perspective

In their blog post, Meta Platforms emphasized that the decision to discontinue “Facebook News” is part of their ongoing efforts to enhance their products and services. They argue that users primarily visit the platform to connect with others and explore new opportunities rather than solely to consume news and political content. While this might be true for the majority of users, removing the dedicated “Facebook News” feature risks reducing the visibility and accessibility of important news stories for those who rely on the platform for their daily news consumption.

The discontinuation of “Facebook News” could have significant consequences for news publishers who depend on the platform to reach their audience. Without the ability to form new commercial deals or benefit from product innovations, news publishers may find it more challenging to monetize their content on Facebook. This could lead to a decrease in revenue for publishers, potentially impacting the sustainability of news organizations in the UK, France, and Germany.

As Facebook transitions away from its dedicated news tab, the responsibility of news dissemination on the platform will likely fall on individual users and their newsfeed algorithms. While news articles will still appear in users’ feeds, there may be concerns about the reliability and diversity of the news sources that users are exposed to. It remains to be seen how this shift will impact the overall news consumption habits of Facebook users in these countries.

Meta Platforms’ decision to discontinue the “Facebook News” feature in the UK, France, and Germany raises questions about the future of news consumption on the platform. While the company maintains that news discovery is a small part of the Facebook experience, this decision could have significant implications for news publishers and their ability to monetize their content. Users, on the other hand, may face challenges in accessing reliable and diverse news sources. As the landscape of news dissemination on Facebook continues to evolve, it is crucial to monitor the potential impact on the accessibility and quality of news content in these countries.


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