Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced its decision to discontinue the “Facebook News” tab in three of its major European markets: the UK, France, and Germany. This decision will take effect in December.
The “Facebook News” tab, which currently serves as a content aggregator, was introduced with the aim of providing users with a centralized place to discover news content. Meta had even entered into agreements with several content publishers to offer them increased advertising and subscription opportunities through this feature.
However, the primary reason for discontinuing the News tab in these countries is economic viability. According to sources, the feature was not generating the expected revenue, and its usage in Europe was significantly lower than anticipated. Meta stated, “We know that people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content – they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions, and interests. News makes up less than 3% of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed, so news discovery is a small part of the Facebook experience for the vast majority of people.”
Despite the removal of the News tab, European publishers will still be able to post their stories on Facebook. Users in these regions will also continue to have access to news content on the platform. This move by Meta is not to be confused with the recent Online News Act in Canada, where the company removed all news content from Facebook to avoid compensating publishers for displaying their content.
In line with the company’s evolving strategy, Meta emphasized its focus on other content forms, particularly short-form video. The company mentioned, “As a company, we have to focus our time and resources on things people tell us they want to see more of on the platform, including short-form video.” This suggests that users might see an influx of TikTok-like content on Facebook in the near future.