As part of its commitment to show more high-quality news on its platform, Facebook has been running a test labeling breaking news from a small group of publishers. The test is now expanding to an additional 50 publishers in different areas across the globe.
Back in November, we reported that Facebook was working on a “breaking news” label to add to posts from local and national publishers. The test that has been running ever since included only a small subset of publishers, but Facebook – encouraged by its results so far – has now decided to open it up to many more in North and Latin America, Europe, and Australia.
Specifically, over 50 new publishers will be included in the test that will allow them to mark Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live posts as breaking news, once a day, for up to 6 hours. Publishers will also be given an extra 5 indicators per month to use as necessary.
In the announcement of the expansion, Joey Rhyu, Product Manager at Facebook says that”posts will appear in News Feed and there will be information in Page Insights so that publishers can track how their tagged posts perform. Readers will also be able to provide feedback when they don’t consider a story to be breaking news by clicking in the top-right drop-down menu of a post.”
The feedback from readers will also help Facebook improve the way it shows breaking news on its platform, but the test’s expansion comes following the success of the one it has been running with major publishers like The Washington Post. The test has received largely positive results.
Facebook found that people in the United States engage more with posts that are labeled as “breaking news,” leading to a 4% lift in clickthrough rate, a 7% lift in Likes, a 4% lift in Comments and an 11% lift in Shares between December 8th to January 14th. If the expansion also proves as successful, Facebook has said it may add more publishers soon.
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