Facebook is preparing to add a video news section to its Watch tab later this year, TheWrap has confirmed.
The social network is looking to partner with about 10 publishers to create native news content, with a rollout set for this summer. News clips will be at least three-minutes long and will be featured within a dedicated tab on Watch. Axios was first to report the story on Tuesday morning.
“Timely news video is the latest step in our strategy to make targeted investments in new types of programming on Facebook Watch,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s global head of news partnerships, said in a statement to TheWrap. “As part of our broader effort to support quality news on Facebook, we plan to meet with a wide-range of potential partners to develop, learn and innovate on news programming tailored to succeed in a social environment. Our early conversations have been encouraging, and we’re excited about the possibilities ahead.”
The move comes as Facebook has been recalibrating its approach to news. Earlier this year, Facebook shifted its News Feed algorithm to feature more local stories. “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the decision. Facebook is looking to “prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local,” added Zuckerberg. To this point, short-form reality shows, rather than hard news, have been the backbone of Facebook Watch.
Facebook has been under fire for its inability to weed out misinformation — some funded by Kremlin-tied agents — before and after the 2016 presidential election. More than 100 million Americans were hit with fake news on the platform, the company admitted to Congress last fall. By launching this summer, Facebook-approved news clips will be in circulation by the 2018 midterm elections.