Nieman Foundation at Harvard
4 takeaways from The New York Times’ new digital strategy memo
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 24, 2014, 10 a.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
Day 17 Egypt Revolution

Facebook teams with Storyful to highlight news content published on the social network

It’s part of Facebook’s continued push to make itself a place where journalists go to find content to share or feed into their stories.

Facebook and Storyful are partnering to create a newsfeed of newsworthy content, originally published on Facebook by its users, to encourage journalists to use the social media site as a source of user generated content.

Called FB Newswire, the new Facebook page will be available publicly and updated in real time with photos, videos, and status updates across a spectrum of topics, including breaking news, entertainment, and sports. Posts will also be shared on, ironically enough, a dedicated Twitter account. The newsfeed is part of Facebook’s effort to continue to market itself to journalists as a news-gathering tool.

FB Newswire_news1[1]Facebook is of course a major source of traffic referrals for many news organizations — half of BuzzFeed’s desktop traffic arrives from Facebook, for instance — but it wants to continue to improve its utility as a content gathering tool, said Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships.

“In addition to the value we’re delivering with referrals, if we can help surface content that is relevant to the journalism that they are creating, that will just further the relationship between Facebook and the news industry,” Mitchell said.

When looking for user-generated content, many journalists might first look to places like Twitter and YouTube over Facebook — not least because Facebook posts often come with some level of privacy settings. Still, there are 2.46 million pieces of content posted to Facebook per minute, and Facebook wants to emphasize the wealth of what is available on the social network. (Facebook also owns the photo-sharing service Instagram, but FB Newswire will be initially limited to just Facebook content.)

FB Newswire is just the latest move Facebook has made in recent months to promote newsworthy content as it has tweaked its News Feed and search algorithms, introduced trending topics, and added hashtag functionality. Facebook’s recent Paper app also drives home the social giant’s increased interest in the news space. Even as Twitter gets ragged on in some corners for a Facebookish redesign, Facebook is clearly trying to take some of the news mojo that Twitter’s built up. As David Leonhardt, editor of The New York Times’ new The Upshot, put it to us this week:

Journalists really like Twitter. You don’t have to twist most journalists’ arms, particularly the journalists who are doing this kind of work, to spend time on Twitter. It comes naturally to them…You do have to give them a little nudge to spend time on Facebook. But Facebook’s really important.

Facebook decided to partner with Storyful because it specializes in locating and verifying user generated content from across the social web: “This is basically what they do,” Mitchell said. “This is their reason for being. They’ve developed an expertise.”

FB Newswire_viral1[1]For Storyful, which will run the page, FB Newswire serves as an opportunity to showcase its brand and products to a larger audience, said Aine Kerr, Storyful’s managing editor: “We hope this is really going to show off what we can do.” (Storyful was bought by News Corp last December for $25 million, and it counts The New York Times, the BBC, and other major news brands among its clients.)

Each post on FB Newswire will allow users or news organizations to embed posts like any other Facebook post, but it will also link back to the Facebook page where the content originated. Storyful will provide short written context for each post as well as relevant hashtags. Users will also be able to comment on the FB Newswire posts, and Kerr said Storyful is looking forward to the feedback journalists will be able to provide on the content they post.

Kerr said Storyful’s goal is to provide newsrooms with access to content and information that they might not typically have access to. “We want to start to help users and newsrooms tell stories from different parts of the world,” she said.

Photo of a woman taking picture of a protest in Egypt by Darla Hueske used under a Creative Commons License.

POSTED     April 24, 2014, 10 a.m.
SEE MORE ON Aggregation & Discovery
Show comments  
Show tags
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
4 takeaways from The New York Times’ new digital strategy memo
With a renewed focus on subscriptions, the Times believes it can double its digital revenue to $800 million in 2020.
Get AMP’d: Here’s what publishers need to know about Google’s new plan to speed up your website
The speed gains are very real. But do publishers want to trade in the open space of what we’ve known as the web for yet another platform they have little control over?
The Longest Shortest Time brings listeners’ voices into its podcast with a dedicated app
The app is built on WNYC tech that allows listeners to upload audio directly.
What to read next
What happened after 7 news sites got rid of reader comments
Recode, Reuters, Popular Science, The Week, Mic, The Verge, and USA Today’s FTW have all shut off reader comments in the past year. Here’s how they’re all using social media to encourage reader discussion.
699Facebook woos journalists with Signal, a dashboard to gather news across Facebook and Instagram
Signal helps journalists find, source, and embed content from Facebook and Instagram.
567Facebook rolls out new tools to help reporters share their work (and choose who sees it)
Facebook is making an app that was previously only for celebrities and other public figures available to journalists with verified profiles.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Los Angeles Times
Animal Político
Associated Press
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Tampa Bay Times
Knight Foundation
Journal Register Co.
New York