Facebook’s $1 Billion Commitment To The News Industry: An Effort To Defuse The Situation!

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Barking dogs seldom bite!

After agreeing to reverse the news ban for Australian users, now Facebook is finally following Google’s footsteps to amends with the news publishers.

According to the latest news, on Wednesday the social media behemoth announced its plans to spend close to $1 billion in the news industry over the course of the next 3 years.

The announcement comes just days after the long-standing heated debate between the Australian Government and Facebook over how much the latter should be paying news publishers to use their content.

In a blog published yesterday, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs – Nick Clegg wrote that the company has invested $600 million since 2018 in order to support the news industry and now plans to at least spend $1 billion more in the upcoming three years.

Clegg also mentioned how Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers given that it fully recognises the fact that ‘quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies functions – informing and empowering citizens and holding the powerful to account’.

In the last month itself, Facebook announced several deals with news publishers in the U.K which includes – Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian, Financial Times, Sky News and Daily Mail Group. As a result of the same, now the content of these publishers will be featured in Facebook News – a dedicated section in the Facebook app that shows curated and personalised news from different publications.

In the same blog, Clegg revealed that Facebook has struck similar deals with U.S-based publishers as well and that the company is currently in negotiations with publishers in Germany and Frace.

Last Wednesday, Facebook blocked news pages country-wide in Australia after the government’s firm stand on introducing its long-proposed media legislation that would require the big tech platforms to pay publishers for linking to their stories.

The ban was short-lived as soon after Zuckerberg renegotiated with Australian Treasurer Frydenberg and cut a deal with the Australian Government on Monday to restore the news pages back to their platform.

As mentioned earlier, even Google is also planning to spend $1 billion on news over the course of the next 3 years. The Alphabet-owned search giant announced the news last October wherein they mentioned it plans to pay publishers to create and curate content for Google News Showcase – a new mobile product.

Google has already struck a deal with publishers which include Germany based Der Spiegel and Die Zeit and Brazil’s Folha de S.Paulo to take part in the rollout program.

Google CEO Sundar Picha, in a blog, wrote how the business model of newspapers has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have been turning to other sources and thus, the company wants to pay its part by helping journalism thrive in the 21st century.

All in all, it is well understood both Facebook and Google can no longer escape from paying news publishers as various countries are becoming increasingly bent on subjecting Big Tech platforms to unsurmountable pressure until they abide by government laws. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.


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