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Facebook Challenges Fake News Through New Video Hub

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Last year, Facebook announced Watch, an ambitious video hub which presents video shows. Currently, these shows allow publishers and other creators the opportunity to build an audience through:

  • Weekly video series;
  • Videos with storylines;
  • Daily vlogs; or
  • Other live and recorded videos.

Facebook plans to take the Watch video hub even farther by offering news programming. This article will explore these news programming, how they are implemented and impact on current video offerings and publishers.

Joining Facebook's Video News Hub

The Watch video hub is expected to gain a new tab titled "news" as early as this summer. It is said that Facebook has contacted at least ten media outlets to solicit proposals for news show offerings. People at Facebook company considered the following factors when deciding their formats:

  • Facebook users have grown accustomed to the quick drive-by video style,
  • Snapchat videos seem to represent the predominant sensibility of social media users,
  • Publisher audience needs.

To entice users of video news hub, Facebook plans to offer a variety of news show lengths. Users favoring the drive-by style will appreciate shorter news shows while users desiring a TV-style video will appreciate up to 30 minutes of news. Quality and publisher type might determine the news show length.

It is rumored that legacy media companies will render news shows of up to 30 minutes. Digital publishers are expected to provide the shorter news shows. Facebook is in talks with TV networks, traditional publishers and digital-first publishers to encourage them to join the new video news hub.

Incentivizing Facebook News

Facebook was able to successfully launched the Watch video hub last year thanks to its partners and publishers´help. Publishers were paid for their shows to run on the Watch video hub and Facebook Live. Partners like Mashable, Group Nine Media, Business Insider and Hearst were incentivized with up to $50,000 an episode for shows on the current format.

Facebook will likely:

  • Incentivize publishers for early participation,
  • Pay publishers to create reliable news shows,
  • Not pay the same as earlier Watch programs. However, each program could potentially garner millions for daily news.

Types of Shows

The new shows will last 3 to 30 minutes, and they will include a year-long commitment and daily runtime. These news shows will also be different from the typical news feed videos because these kinds of videos go viral as they are viewed but they are not on a schedule and have no continuation. However, the News shows will be different because:

  • The news shows will have continuing characteristics,
  • They will be a consistent news show from a reliable publisher,
  • News programs will likely have start and end times.

Facebook users will be able to rely on their favorite news shows at their daily appointed times in the Watch video news hub.

The Catalyst for Change:

Facebook has already begun implementing some changes to its news feed. It is now focusing on posts from friends and family rather than publishers in the news feed. Publishers are not too happy with these changes because they fear it may hinder their exposure and decrease audiences.

What was the catalyst for this change? "Fake News." Many Americans are familiar with the devastating impact "Fake News" can have. Afterall, one needs only to look at the controversy still playing out concerning the impact of "Fake News" on the 2016 presidential election to see the negative results. Facebook wants to combat "Fake News" by:

  • Performing a cleanup, limiting its ability to hit the news feed,
  • Curating reliable news shows for the Watch video hub,
  • Directing users to Watch for the news shows rather than news feeds,
  • Ensuring quality control of news content by placing it in one place from trusted media partners.

Publisher Response:

Facebook is rumored to be falling into disfavor with some of its traditional publishing partners. However, the popularity of the company and its lucrative payments to publisher content will likely continue garnering big-name media involvement. Many publishers are familiar with the perceived shortcomings of Instant Articles and Facebook Live. The new changes in the news feed have, without a doubt, added to some publishers' skepticism.

Recently, Andrew Lack, NBC News Chairman referred to Facebook as "Fakebook", after years of disappointments concerning the materialization of new content programs. He also believes "Facebook doesn't have value for publishers..." and it is working hard to change public perception and garner the continued support of their publishing partners. The company tries to eliminate traces of "Fake News" from its platform all together while embracing new and continuing publishing partners providing reliable news.

Facebook is also working with news organizations and companies to help them utilize the social network better by:

  • Assisting publishers with social networking through Instant Articles that drive ad revenue and generate leads to paid subscriptions. Facebook's Instant Articles make a reported $1.5 million daily.
  • Enhancing the user experience of publishers by studying which media sources Facebook users find most credible and rewarding them.
  • Providing a news feed priority and raised profiles to publishers deemed most credible.

Facebook news partnerships head, Campbell Brown stated; "We want to help publishers connect with audiences outside of News Feed, and this preliminary test will allow us to work with a number of news organizations to experiment and figure out what works." And then, he added that "These types of tests are opportunities for us to learn and improve..." According to his sayings, Facebook might be learning and improving its services.

At Bright Vessel, we can assess you on creating effective social marketing strategies which might complement these new Facebook policies as Facebook plans to provide a greater audience for publishers through the Watch video news hub.  Contact us today to see how we can boost your social presence and grow your business through Watch video news hub.

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