Facebook will add a Watch section for breaking news videos
Facebook may be downplaying news in your actual News Feed, but its Watch team is headed in the opposite direction. The social network has announced that it’s creating a section in Watch that will feature breaking news stories. News partnership lead Campbell Brown didn’t say when it would launch or which outlets would show up, but it recently said the News Feed would prioritize local stories. The Watch tab could easily follow suit.
There are a few reasons why Facebook might push news videos even as it reduces its emphasis on shared articles. First and foremost, of course, is money. While you may not see many original news pieces on Watch (which would give Facebook a 45 percent cut of ad revenue), this could keep many people on Facebook and thus viewing ads. When Snapchat and YouTube are big news sources for some users, Facebook might not want to risk ceding any ground. There’s also a chance that this could filter out some fake news, although bogus videos certainly aren’t unheard of.
Whatever the reasons, this will expand Watch’s role. Most of Facebook’s recent energy has been spent on securing original entertainment programming — this pushes it closer to a balance between fun and informative material. You may have a reason to come back even if you don’t care for dramas or sports.