Facebook To Promote Local News More, Takes Step To Make Platform Meaningful

Facebook designed a pilot program to help media companies determine what inspires people to subscribe. The accelerator program will collaborate with 10-15 news companies to devise strategies to help them build subscriber base on and off Facebook.

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Facebook Wants Users To Read Local News More, Significant Step Toward Making Meaningful Interactions

Facebook’s announcement to make changes in algorithms to promote posts from friends and family has received a lot of applause across the world. After facing a huge criticism for getting people addicted to the platform and wasting users’ time, the social media giant took a significant step in achieving long term growth. This decision would make users’ time spent on the platform worthy and promote meaningful interactions. The firm also decided to take necessary steps to weed out fake news and posts enticing violence. Along with countering fake news, the social media company has been striving to promote high quality and genuine news. It has not specified any terms by which it will differentiate between aforementioned types of news and other news. Recently, Facebook Journalism Project launched a Local News Subscriptions Accelerator. It is a $3 million program which will be conducted for three months on pilot basis in the U.S. This program is focused on consolidating digital subscription efforts of local newspapers.

As the online advertising field has been dominated by Google and Facebook, news companies and publishing houses have been generating revenues from subscriptions. Facebook designed its pilot program to help media companies determine what inspires people to subscribe. The accelerator will collaborate with 10-15 news companies to devise strategies to help publishers build subscriber base on and off Facebook. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Denver Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Miami Herald, and others are some of the news companies that will be collaborating with the social media giant on this project.

Facebook has taken a significant step by hiring Tim Griggs, a former New York Times executive and digital media consultant to take charge of the program. The program will be based on understanding the online audience and developing marketing strategies to acquire subscriber base.

Facebook has collaborated with The Lenfest Institute to execute the distributed learning model with the $3 million investment through the Local Media Association, Local Media Consortium, and the News Media Alliance. “What drew us to the project is that the accelerator is publisher-centric,” said Jim Friedlich, Executive Director of The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. “It’s designed to bring major local publishers together to discuss and employ digital commerce best practices.”

The California-based social media giant Facebook has taken huge efforts to collaborate with newspapers and digital publishers to strengthen their subscription base and monetization strategies through its platform. Though it has not been much transparent while collaborating with publishers on experiments and tests in the past, Executives of Facebook said that it is looking forward to contributing more than before.  Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of Journalism Project, said, “We want to go the extra mile. When I started here there was only one person on local, now its the largest partnerships team we have.”

This project will be very helpful for local newspapers as they do not have enough resources to use such platforms to increase subscription base. National newspapers have been scaling up their digital subscription base with availability of resources. This program will provide resources and strategies to local newspapers to scale up their readability and subscription base. Moreover, Facebook also marks a significant step toward adding value to people’s lives through its platform that was highly criticized for wasting time.


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