'Facebook Newswire' Wants To Replace Twitter As Every Journalist's BFF
Tired of constantly being left in the news dust, Facebook launched FB Newswire on Thursday, a page of real-time news content that hopes to push aside the much-loved-by-journalists (but arch-enemy-of-the-social-networking-world) Twitter. The new resource is in fact a joint project between the social media outlet and Storyful, "the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms." It'll pull together "newsworthy content" for journalists to use when following a story.
The way it'll work is quite ingenious. First, Facebook will use an algorithm to figure out what's trending out of all the being content being shared on it (650,000 pieces per minute, to be exact), for everything from weather to politics to sports to entertainment. The Storyful staff will then curate the content of the Newswire page, verifying everything from videos to statuses before posting the stories on the page.
“We believe this new Newswire will prove Facebook is both an origin and a destination for news and can showcase Storyful's ability to surface real time stories from around the world,” Aine Kerr, Managing Editor of Storyful said in a statement. “Storyful's discovery technology and expert journalists will bring a new layer of verification, expert curation and community engagement to content on the platform.”
Rather than being about increasing advertising revenue, the move seems to be about putting itself on par with other social media sites that pull in reporters, such as Reddit and Twitter. And it looks like it's been in the works for a while: Just last month, Facebook hired a former Wall Street Journal editor, supposedly "to work directly on how Facebook partners with journalists and media organizations, at a time when Facebook is putting a big emphasis on news and mobile."
“The hope, obviously, is that newsrooms will come in, find great content, embed it and use it to engage their audiences and drive traffic,” Kerr said.
As journalists use Twitter more and more to keep up to date on a developing story, it's true that Facebook's wider and more general social feed has a tendency to be left behind. “More and more we are looking for ways to make our content more accessible to journalists,” Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships, told Poynter.“[Facebook has been] driving a lot of referrals to news partners,” Mitchell added. “It felt like we were a positive member of the ecosystem.”
But it's not about competing with Twitter, Mitchell maintained. "What we're trying to do is make sure journalists have as many choices [and] first-person content as possible so they can tell the most complete story they can," he said. Sure, whatever — but, hey, the tech world wouldn't keep evolving without a lil' healthy competition, eh?