Facebook Pivots From News Coverage to Creator Economy

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Meta will be changing how it uses resources for its Facebook News tab and Bulletin newsletter, intending to focus more on the creator economy, according to a memo sent to employees.

A report from the Wall Street Journal Tuesday (July 19) quoted Campbell Brown, a senior executive and a former journalist, who said Meta will now be shifting engineering and product support to help with “building a more robust Creator economy.”

One anonymous source familiar with the matter said the decision was “made at the product level” and not by the partnership team Brown works with. Per the report, a Meta spokeswoman said the company looks at its products to focus on “the most meaningful experiences” as well as the future of the business.

Facebook News is a curated selection of stories which users can see on a tab in either the app or website. It was launched in 2019, as publishers were growing increasingly frustrated with the way tech giants were usurping the digital ad market for the past several years.

Bulletin, rolled out in June 2021, is a subscription platform that supports independent writers, similar to Substack.

The Journal report noted that Facebook’s pivot away from paid news involved how regulators were looking at the business, with several regulators globally saying they wanted tech platforms to pay for news, sources said.

PYMNTS wrote that the U.K. was not added to a growing list of countries putting limits on negotiations between Big Tech firms and publishers for using news stories. The plan has been delayed for at least a year because of a change of heart.

Read more: Google, Meta Dodge UK’s Plan to Force Fairer Deals With Publishers

That came as Ofcom, the telecommunication regulator, and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published their joint advice for the government asking for fairer deals.

The main issue stems from people primarily getting their news from tech companies like Facebook and Google, as publishers could use more of a cut. However, several government officials have said the government should wait, as the U.K. currently has an opportunity to take its own approach to regulate with a more pro-innovation approach.