Facebook Wants To Be A Source For Real-Time News

Facebook and Twitter are on a well-documented mission to one-up each other. But Facebook threw the latest punch on Thursday, announcing a new feature that caters to Twitter’s most avid users: Journalists.

Facebook is partnering with Storyful, a social media tool that helps find and verify interesting content, to launch FB Newswire, a curated page featuring newsworthy public posts from around Facebook.

The handpicked posts, which will include photos and video on a variety of topics from politics to celebrities, will be pulled from public Facebook profiles and Pages and featured on the FB Newswire.

Following The Blue Bird

This competitiveness between the two most popular social networks has existed for some time now, with Facebook implementing attributes like hashtags and trending topics long after Twitter did, while Twitter, for its part, recently rolled out redesigned user profiles that look a lot like Facebook profiles, minus the Timeline.

When searching for user-generated content for news, journalists typically turn to Twitter or YouTube because those companies are better sources for updates of real-time events. And since Twitter and YouTube are generally public platforms, information is easy to find and share with consumers. 

Facebook wants to loosen Twitter’s grip on user-generated Internet news by sourcing both breaking news and updates in one place on Facebook. Storyful will do the legwork—finding which Facebook posts will resonate the most with media—and journalists can then take those posts and embed them online, or share their videos on a broadcast. 

That said, it might take more than one dedicated Facebook page to tear the Twitter faithfuls away from the 140-character news cycle—or, rather, news stream—especially since FB Newswire plans to share all its posts directly to its own Twitter account

Facebook hopes to attract journalists to the FB Newswire, and the company has made several changes in recent months to make that particular audience feel more at home, by making Facebook into more of a news platform. Most notably, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithms to surface more “high-quality” posts from news organizations, and launched its own standalone news reader app in January, called Paper. 

Image courtesy of the Knight Foundation on Flickr

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