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Meta pivots away from news


News sites have seen traffic plummet in recent months due to a lack of referral clicks from Facebook, whose pivot away from hard news has taken a toll on media organizations.

Media executives told CNN that their firms have seen traffic dip by as much as 40% year-over-year due to the shift made by Facebook parent company Meta.

“Facebook nuked everyone’s traffic,” one news publisher told CNN.

Another media executive told CNN: “If you’re a major publisher, you’ve gotten nicked.”

The Post has sought comment from Meta.

In 2021, Facebook announced that it was changing its algorithm to cut down on political content in users’ news feeds — a move made in response to the social network coming under fire for fueling societal polarization and the spread of misinformation.


Facebook parent company Meta has shifted away from promoting hard news content, denting traffic numbers for publishers.
AFP via Getty Images

In 2018, the company overhauled the Facebook “News Feed” to place more emphasis on posts, photos, and videos shared by family and friends rather than content from publishers.

Last month, the Financial Times reported that Meta was taking a hard line toward publishers and government officials who are trying to force the company to pay media organizations for content.

Meta recently rolled out its new micro-blogging app, Threads, which is intended to compete with the news-heavy X (formerly known as Twitter).


News organizations have seen traffic dip by as much as 40% year-over-year, according to a report.
News organizations have seen traffic dip by as much as 40% year-over-year, according to a report.
Getty Images

Company executives said that Threads would prioritize content posted by creators and friends over hard news or politics — similar to the way its algorithm governs Facebook and Instagram.

Earlier this month, Meta started removing news content from Facebook and Instagram in Canada after the government passed legislation forcing tech companies to negotiate payments to news organizations for hosting their content.


Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured above. The company has pivoted away from hard news content in recent years.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured above. The company has pivoted away from hard news content in recent years.
REUTERS

Facebook blocked Canadian users from clicking on links to news articles after the government in Ottawa passed a law forcing tech companies to pay news publishers for content.
Facebook blocked Canadian users from clicking on links to news articles after the government in Ottawa passed a law forcing tech companies to pay news publishers for content.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Meta’s Canadian users who log on to Facebook and Instagram are thus unable to click on links to news articles that are posted to those platforms.

Google has also said that it intends to remove news contents from its platforms when the Canadian law takes effect — perhaps as soon as December.

In 2021, Australia passed a similar law that was opposed by Meta and other tech giants, though the companies have since reached deals with publishers in that country.

California was poised to pass a revenue-sharing bill, but backed down after opposition from tech companies.



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