Report: Facebook Is Giving News Publishers Free Mobile Ads


Well, it is called the News Feed.

For at least the last six months, Facebook has been adjusting its algorithm to reward high-quality content and has admitted a strong bias toward news publishers.

Now as Digiday’s John McDermott noticed last week, Facebook is placing what amounts to free ads for publishers in users’ mobile news feeds.

McDermott noted that CNN’s growth in Facebook likes has soared by 1.2 million in the last month, to more than 11 million, while in the same time span last year it added only 76,000.

To be clear, the evidence is very circumstantial (obligatory reminder that correlation isn’t causation), but brands not getting the same treatment couldn’t be blamed for being displeased. Already, Facebook page managers — at least those who aren’t in the news business — are dealing with a huge drop-off in organic reach for posts.

On the other hand, Facebook is working hard to keep its 1.25 billion active users interested and engaged. And currently, it apparently believes people want a significant dose of professionally produced news.

“A small but growing number of adults use Facebook to get their news,” Jill Sherman, director of social and content strategy at DigitasLBi, told Digiday. “Facebook’s new algorithm is favoring the most newsworthy, sharable content in the feed, so actively promoting media and publishers at no cost makes sense.”

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: News Feed | Social Media Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's Social Media Correspondent, reporting on the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor. Follow Martin on Twitter (@MartinBeck), Facebook and/or Google+.

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  • Thomas Hake

    Thanks for the update. I’m in hopes that they will eventually tailor news to a persons interest and involve smaller news sites in the future. I’ve enjoyed hearing they are cracking down on spam. Hopefully this is a step in the right directions.

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