Facebook to Remove News Tab for US Users in April

The company will also stop paying Australian publishers

Facebook is failing media art by Christopher Smith / TheWrap
Facebook's not making it easy for publishers at the moment.

Facebook parent company Meta announced on Thursday that the “News” tab will be removed from the social media site for users in the United States and Australia in April, date to be announced. As part of the change, Meta will cease paying publishers for content posted on the platform in Australia. (The company ceased such deals for American publishers in 2022.)

The announcement came wrapped in euphemistic language, as Meta, parent company of Facebook, said in a statement, “In early April 2024, we will deprecate Facebook News – a dedicated tab in the bookmarks section on Facebook that spotlights news – in the US and Australia. This follows our September 2023 announcement that we deprecated Facebook News in the UK, France and Germany last year.”

“Additionally, to ensure that we continue to invest in products and services that drive user engagement, we will not enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in these countries and will not offer new Facebook products specifically for news publishers in the future,” the statement also said.

A much clearer explanation — “deprecate” means “express disapproval” or “disparage,” not “remove” — can be found on a Facebook News help page: “Facebook News, located in the News tab, is no longer available in The United Kingdom, France and Germany. Starting in early April, it will no longer be available in the United States and Australia.”

The moves comes as several countries, including Australia and Canada, have passed laws intended to protect local media by making platforms like Facebook pay for content that drives user engagement. Last august, Facebook began blocking news in Canada in response.

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