Nowadays, during the times of a war-like situation amongst the social media platforms, a point has been reached wherein it is becoming really hard to distinguish the features which are exclusive to a particular application only.
Every app is now looking out to borrow the best features from its rival parties, to attract the audiences. Facebook seems to be keeping up with this trend by working on a new feature which will now showcase the lists of all the curated content directly from the publishers into the News Feed column of the users. This feature called the ‘Collections’ is expected to function just like the Discover section of Snapchat, which also showcases all the listicles, news stories, videos and any content which will be submitted by handpicked media partners.
Facebook, in the recent weeks, has approached a couple of media and entertainment companies to create all the content required for Collections. However, it has not announced anything officially about when the feature will probably be made available to the public for use. When asked about this feature, a Facebook spokesperson had reportedly declined to comment regarding this story.
Right Time for Collections
At a time when Facebook is struggling with fake news stories which are going viral across the social network and is also trying its hardest to distinguish in between the high-quality content coming from entrenched media establishments and the low-quality one’s, the ‘Collections’ should probably bring back the interest and reputation of the company, at least for the efforts Facebook has put in creating it. This move by Facebook could also help in forging better and stronger ties to the social networking company with its publishers and media partners, at a time when it is competing on the like of Snapchat, the fast-growing rival app company. The Discover section of Snapchat has tabloid notes and news stories, which is viewed every day by more than 150 million users, especially targeting the youth.
Direct Access to the Users
The early partners of the ‘Collections’ have been told that all the content which will be created by them will be directly published into the News Feed column of the users by Facebook, which will effectively give them a direct and a more potentially broad access to the vast audience of almost 1.8 billion users on the social network. In order to boost their reach and exposure through the new post program on Facebook, the publishers will currently need to either garner a lot of likes from the users so that their content will be seen in the News Feed or they will have to pay for the same.
It is not yet clear if the Facebook Collections will also feature advertising and if it does so, will the social networking company be ready to share the revenue coming from the advertisements with its publishers or if it will offer its publishers and media partners with an option to monetize the content by themselves, like the way it is currently doing with its Instant Articles Service.
Another point clinging like ivy is the extent up to which Facebook could probably share its data about the readers of all the articles with publishers, and how easy it will be for the publishers to bring its readers to their websites.
Facebook has really had a tough history by getting directly involved in its news curation section. The company had previously experimented around its curated content section from publishers by bringing in a breaking news app called the Notify, which the company had shuttered just within seven months, earlier this year. The Trending news section of the social network had come under fire earlier this year after it was reported that the editors at Facebook were suppressing all the conservative-leaning news items from appearing on the list on purpose.
Fake News Flak
Facebook had garnered a lot of flak during the US elections after being accused of spreading fake news articles which many people had claimed had resulted in the current election result. In regard to this, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg had said that the company is working hard on its fake news issue for quite some time now. He also said that the problem being technically and philosophically complex, the company is outlining steps to curb this issue.