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Facebook Tests Removing Publishers From News Feed -- Unless They Pay (mashable.com) 88

According to a report via Mashable, Facebook is removing posts from Pages in the original News Feed and relegating them to another feed, forcing users to "pay to play" in order to have their content back in the News Feed. The setting is only available in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Cambodia for now, but it could be rolled out to other countries later. From the report: The social network last week officially launched its secondary news feed called Explore. The feed generally features posts from Facebook Pages users don't follow. News Feed, meanwhile, hosts posts from friends and Pages users do follow. But that's not true for everyone. In six markets, Facebook has removed posts from Pages in the original News Feed and relegated them to another feed, Filip Struharik, editor and social media manager at Dennik N, wrote. That means Facebook's main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers. Instead, it's a battlefield of "pay to play," where publishers have to pony up the dough to get back into the News Feed. It's a stark change from how media outlets have grown with Facebook. Publishers like BuzzFeed's Tasty and NowThis grew via distributing viral posts and videos on News Feed, as Ziad Ramley, former social lead at Al Jazeera English, wrote. While companies had to employ social media managers, they could generally rely on them sharing content without paying to boost it.
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Facebook Tests Removing Publishers From News Feed -- Unless They Pay

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  • by I'm New Around Here ( 1154723 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:43PM (#55420167)

    I nominate this article for the most confusing wording of any Slashdot article this month.

    • I don't understand it either. I assumed the news feeds were curated anyway; the buzzfeed crap was all in the "I'm bored" section ("13 stupid ways facebook is getting worse, read now!").

      I don't see anything wrong with paying to get into the "this is real news!" section. I'd rather see headlines from AP than from some startup wannabe media site. So what's the story? That Facebook wants to be more sane, or that there are people who think that lots of clicks on click-bait is what should make a story newsworth

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        So what's the story? That Facebook wants to be more sane,

        Not at all, it's that FB has found a new way to squeeze cash out of what it was offering as a product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I stopped using stupid facebook for anything and now my neighbor's dog is cured of cancer.

    • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:26PM (#55420421)

      Blame Facebook. It's their terminology that's confusing things.

      The News Feed is just the feed of posts from people you've friended and pages you've followed. Your sister's cat pictures are 'news' in this sense.

      A publisher is just a non-personal page that posts articles. It could be a page run by a news publisher or a charity or a community organization. I follow half a dozen small bands who keep in touch with their fans through Facebook.

      Some time ago, Facebook decided that following a page from a publisher is no longer enough for you to see all of the posts from that publisher. An algorithm decides who gets to see which posts you get to see what which ones you don't. At the same time, they added the ability for publishers to pay to promote their posts, which prevents the algorithm filtering them out of the feeds of their followers.

      That apparently didn't make enough money, so now they're testing the idea of forcing all publishers' articles into a different feed. If you live in one of the countries where they're testing it, you won't see any of the posts on pages you've followed in your news feed unless the publishers pay to get them there.

      • So, evil then. Instead of a news distribution system to attract groups you can follow, evil.

        • Greedy is probably more accurate than evil, but greed does usually lead to evil results so ... close enough.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        They are basically charging facebook members to interact with other facebook members, they are just deciding upon a greed driven whim, who is targeted and censored and has to pay and who is not. Well beyond publishers, they will extend it out to the typical for profit youtuber as a example. The only publisher of content facebook will accept is facebook and the only acceptable propaganda is facebooks or the propaganda that pays facebook for access. Facebook users real, will just be treated like mushrooms, ke

        • Yep. It sucks. The bands I follow on there have tiny followings and can't afford to pay up like bigger companies. Some of them have trouble making their rent on a monthly basis, but Facebook still wants to extort money from them to show their posts to their followers.

          • Yep. It sucks. The bands I follow on there have tiny followings and can't afford to pay up like bigger companies. Some of them have trouble making their rent on a monthly basis, but Facebook still wants to extort money from them to show their posts to their followers.

            That Facebook is "free" is the illusion here. The mantra "you are the product" we hear recited so often on /. requires SOMEONE to be on the non-product side of the table, right?

            The band is the "buyer" in this case. Why shouldn't it pay for the privilege of having the product all nice and rounded up? It's not just pure ad companies being required to pay anymore, that is all.

      • "Some time ago, Facebook decided that following a page from a publisher is no longer enough for you to see all of the posts from that publisher. An algorithm decides who gets to see which posts you get to see what which ones you don't. At the same time, they added the ability for publishers to pay to promote their posts, which prevents the algorithm filtering them out of the feeds of their followers."

        The word you're looking for is 'extortion'.

  • Not shocking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by VY99 ( 5128437 )
    This doesn't shock me in any way. This is just who they are, and anyone who's dealt with Facebook will totally understand.
    • True! After all, Facebook needs to continually look for revenue streams as it loses them almost as often as it gains.
  • Another advantage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This has the added bonus of censoring non-mainstream media companies, who won't be able to afford to pay.

  • I don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shellster_dude ( 1261444 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:51PM (#55420213)
    I don't trust Facebook to curate my news for me. I use tools to block all Facebook News, so hopefully this just means my ad-blocking tools won't have to work overtime. Seems like a lot of hysteria over nothing.
    • Fakebook with it's thieving owner, is long overdue to join MySpace and the NFL on the brands-that-shot-themselves-in-head list.
      • NFL? Seriously, your a "kneeling is dishonoring the flag and the troops and babies with cancer" dipship?
  • Okay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:55PM (#55420241)
    This is a mixed bag here. On one hand, this should cut down on the yellow journalism because the outlets that are circulating garbage will go back into the woodwork like cockroaches once daylight breaks. Other other hand, there are some legitimate, non-mainstream news outlets like TYT which could suffer because they might not have the means to pay Facebook's ransom. At the end of the day, none of this has any applicability to me because I told Zuck to go suck a big fat one and deleted my account. Thank you Zuck for 3 wasted years of my life. Boy did it feel good to ditch Facebook .... Fear Of Missing Out is vastly overrated.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I told Zuck to go suck a big fat one and deleted my account. Thank you Zuck for 3 wasted years of my life. Boy did it feel good to ditch Facebook .... Fear Of Missing Out is vastly overrated.

      nobody ever escapes from the borg, you are an experiment

    • by Anonymous Coward
      And on the third hand, isn't this exactly what everyone has always said Google should do in every story about a news website complaining about Google "giving away" their news for free?
    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      TYT - The Young Turks... legitimate... are you being serious???
      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        They're about as legit as any other media these days. They slant heavily left and they make no secret about it, but they're not generally making shit up like a lot of the (actually fake) "news" that apparently was coming through the FB feeds (and other social media) that ended up getting traced to sweatshops in various cheap labor countries (probably paid for by Russia but I don't think that part was ever conclusively proven.)

        That said, they're not investigative reporters. They mostly just collect reports

        • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
          From what I've seen, they don't admit that they heavily slant to the left, they make out that they're fair and unbiased, but it doesn't take long to realise that they're pushing their own barrows, so to speak.
          • by Altrag ( 195300 )

            "What you've seen" is obviously not much then. They're continually advertising (not just arguing for but actively advertising) their progressive democrat PAC and whatnot. I mean its not like they start every episode by disclaiming their political views but they definitely don't put on any airs of being unbiased.

            That said, their bias isn't just "democrat" though, its "progressive democrat." So they like to call out Hillary Clinton and Tom Perez and others even in the democratic party that they perceive as

            • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
              So your retort is basically saying that they're unfair and biased. Thanks for agreeing with me.
  • by Leuf ( 918654 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:01PM (#55420283)
    You've had to pay to get your non-personal page posts to be shown to more than a tiny percentage of the people that follow your page for a long time. Which is why I don't use it. Every time I go to Facebook they try to get me to buy an ad to actually show my posts, that I don't make, to somebody.
    • It's not so much different as it is an expansion. Now, instead of still showing posts to a percentage of followers, Facebook won't show posts from non-personal pages to any of the people following the page unless you pay up.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @07:56PM (#55421003)

        It's a tiny shift really. Facebook already reduced the number of organic views that you'd get for posts to professional pages by at least an order of magnitude a long time ago.

        If you use Facebook as a channel to reach your customers/fans/whatever, the game has been pay-to-play for a long time, and the only thing that matters is still whether or not you get a good return on your investment, just like any other advertising. Watch your numbers, and if Facebook isn't giving you good enough exposure, pull your funding and spend it somewhere else, whether that's Google ads for your business or posters for your local church fair to up in local stores.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was already pay-to-play. When I would post on my business page, it basically wouldn't show the post to people (even if it was an informational post instead of an ad) unless I paid to "boost this post." It pretty much seemed to treat content and ads as the same thing when posted on a business page. If I did give in and pay to "boost" a post, it would show the post to a bunch of click-happy people who click "like" on everything that shows up on their feeds, presumably in an attempt by FB to make it seem th

  • by Zorro ( 15797 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:34PM (#55420469)

    "Who controls the past controls the future..."
    “War is peace..."

  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:58PM (#55420569)
    Those who pay are the most truthy.....($100K in fake news being sold during 2016 elections)
    • LOL.. $100K which was spitting in the ocean of the total spending by all the campaigns didn't help Facebook's bottom line any, now did it..

      • Well directed spit still hits you in the eye.....and that is what happened. FB provides so much data about people you can target leaders in a group with ads and affect the whole group.
        • Well directed spit still hits you in the eye.....

          Or, you are spitting into the wind yourself and get what you deserve when it lands back on you?

          Nobody knows, but I'm hearing a LOT of theories that Muller is now looking into malfeasance by the other side. It explains why we've gone from daily wall to wall "The Russians did it! Impeachment is coming!" coverage to radio silence after 9 months. Why did they suddenly get off this hobby horse? Perhaps we are all tired of this and the news media finally realized they were beating a dead horse? OR Perhaps the

    • Which had more influence on American politics: $100k of facebook ads, half of which occurred after Election Day, or Bill Clinton accepting $500k from Russia, which caught the FBI's attention. Clinton gave a 90-minute speech to Renaissance Capital, a Kremlin connected bank that was promoting the Uranium One Deal's stock.

      You know who the bagman was who took samples of the uranium to the Russians for inspection? Robert Mueller. Yes, THAT Mueller, the one who's investigating Trump and the one who wrote the

  • is always free.
  • Information always wants to be free.

    The more you squeeze the worlds of information, the more they will slip from your tentacles, Emperor Zuckerberg, and everyone will use some other source.

  • Their market share makes this an easy call. The DOJ needs to step on this fast and hard.

    If FB gets away with this Verizon and Comcast will be demanding pay for play, or they block your website.

  • by p0p0 ( 1841106 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @06:21PM (#55420659)
    Now I wonder if the media outlets whose articles they don't agree with suddenly can't seem to finish their transaction?
  • Couldn't give a f**k (Score:4, Informative)

    by ukoda ( 537183 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @07:31PM (#55420927) Homepage
    I use social networks to keep up with what is happening in the lives of my friends and family. I do not use it as news network, I do not use it to find out what is happening in the world. I do not use it as commercial network, I do not do business on it. I do not like or join company pages. If someone has to pay to inject their unwanted stuff in my feed I couldn't give a f**k. I never wanted their crap in their in the first place.

    To be honest I do wonder why Facebook is still called a social network as the social aspect really seems to be secondary to the commercial aspects of it.
  • People still use that thing?

  • It's just a bad scene and you know they are going to screw you over- you just don't know how.

  • I cannot possibly predict user reaction to this

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