Facebook’s breaking news

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Facebook is eating the Internet and it has an appetite for news. The social network will reportedly begin directly hosting news content from a variety of partners, including the New York Times, National Geographic and Buzzfeed. Facebook’s monopoly on Internet traffic promises increased views for these partners, a share of ad revenue, and an increasingly seamless experience for users.

There are strong arguments against publishing journalism directly to Facebook. News outlets risk losing grip of their content, their advertisers and readers to unseen algorithms, and the politics of Zuckerberg’s monster.

Many news sources are desperate to attract a new generation of viewers who consume a parallel, aggregate Internet delivered by social media. We’ve already seen how news content has been shaped by the need to be ‘shareable’ – a bias towards human interest stories, lists and clickbait headlines are designed specifically to drive views to external websites and battle the slow attrition of views to homepages globally.

For some news companies, publishing content directly to Facebook could prove an interesting experiment in social, snackable content for a new generation. As Quartz points out, many websites like The New York Times are unlikely to ever exclusively publish content to Facebook, showing extensive investment in interactive long-form storytelling. For others, it may prove the old proverb: if you can’t beat them, join them.

This list originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20150401

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