Facebook moving news initiatives to ‘backburner’: report

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Social media platform Facebook is moving resources from its news initiatives and newsletters in an effort to build a more robust creator economy, according to a company memo.

In the document obtained and published by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, company senior executive Campbell Brown wrote that the social media giant is planning to shift its engineering and product support from its news tab and newsletter platform, Bulletin, to the creator economy. 

Bulletin, launched in 2021, is a subscription-based service where freelance writers can write and publish stories for the company. The company’s news tab, created in 2019, is a curated list of stories from different news outlets such as The Washington Post and The New York Times that can be found on its mobile app and website, according to the Journal. 

“For a lot of us—this was a labor of love and I know it’s hard to see these products put on the backburner,” Brown, a former journalist, wrote in her memo, also thanking the company’s partnership team for its work on the news initiatives in the past year.

“We remain committed to the success of creators, and are doing even more to ensure they can find audiences on Facebook and grow engaged communities there,” Brown added in the memo. 

A source told the newspaper that the decision to move resources from the news product team was a business decision, and the move did not come from the partnership team which Brown is a member. 

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Meta, the company that owns Facebook, said it evaluates products to ensure that they are bringing the most “meaningful experiences” to users on the platform.

We regularly evaluate the products we offer to ensure we’re focused on the most meaningful experiences for people on Facebook and the future of our business,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We remain committed to the success of creators, and are doing even more to ensure they can find audiences on Facebook and grow engaged communities there.” 

The Journal noted that Facebook’s plan to reallocate resources from its news services is in large part to compete with social media platform TikTok by shifting focus toward the metaverse and short-form video creation.

This story was updated at 5:50 p.m.