Date
20 November 2017
Facebook says it wants to allow news content to display more quickly for mobile users. Photo: Facebook
Facebook says it wants to allow news content to display more quickly for mobile users. Photo: Facebook

Facebook seeks to host content from news sites

Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content on its website rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site, The New York Times reported.

With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has been trying to allay the fears of news providers used to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems and accumulating valuable data on them, the report said.

Facebook plans to test the new format in the next several months.

Its initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added, since discussions are continuing. 

To attract publishers, Facebook has discussed ways for them to make money from advertising that would run alongside the content.

The firm has said publicly that it wants to make the experience of consuming content online more seamless.

News articles on Facebook are now linked to the publisher’s own website and open in a web browser, typically taking about eight seconds to load.

Facebook thinks that this is too long, especially on a mobile device.

The new proposal carries another risk for publishers, the report said: the loss of valuable consumer data.

When readers click on an article, tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.

That data might instead go to Facebook, which uses that information itself to target and track consumers more effectively for advertisers.

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