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Facebook to Remove News Tab

Meta is stepping away from news-related regulations and payment issues, opting to remove Facebook's news tab
March 4, 2024

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is making significant moves in its approach to news media-related regulations and payment complexities. In an announcement today, Meta revealed its intention to remove the news tab on Facebook in both the United States and Australia, with the product slated to be sunsetted in April 2024.

This decision echoes Meta's previous actions, including the discontinuation of Facebook News in key European markets such as the U.K., Germany, and France. Meta cited a desire to refocus resources on products and services deemed more valuable by users as the rationale behind these changes.

According to Meta, the usage of Facebook News has dwindled significantly in Australia and the U.S., experiencing an 80% decline over the past year. In alignment with its commitment to prioritize user preferences, Meta aims to redirect attention and resources toward features like short-form video, which have garnered greater user interest.

While news content constitutes less than 3% of the content users encounter on their Facebook feeds, Meta acknowledges a broader trend of declining referral traffic for publishers from the platform. Regulatory developments, particularly legislation in Australia and Canada mandating payment to online publishers, have also influenced Meta's strategic decisions.

Despite the sunset of Facebook News, Meta assures that existing agreements with publishers will remain unaffected until their expiration. Additionally, users in Australia and the U.S. will retain the ability to share news on their feeds, while publishers can continue to manage their pages and post links.

Looking ahead, Meta emphasizes its disinterest in investing in new news-related products, signaling a clear departure from its previous endeavors in this domain. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, reinforced Meta's stance last year by stating that news amplification would not be a priority on Threads, a social network launched by the company.

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