What Has the Facebook Journalism Project Accomplished in Its First Six Months?

Facebook has met with 2,600 publishers globally since launching Facebook Journalism Project

Facebook introduced its Facebook Journalism Project in January, and Thursday, head of news partnerships Campbell Brown and vice president of product Fidji Simo provided an update of its progress at the six-month mark.

Brown and Simo said Facebook has met with 2,600 publishers globally since launching Facebook Journalism Project.

Facebook added call-to-action buttons to its Instant Articles interactive, media-rich, fast-loading mobile posts in April, and Brown and Simo said the feature has prompted more than 2 million email sign-ups, averaging more than 25,000 per day across all publishers that use Instant Articles.

They added that publishers using Instant Articles are now receiving a total of more than $1 million per day via Facebook Audience Network, and RPMs (revenue per thousand impressions) from Audience Network in Instant Articles are up more than 50 percent over the past six months.

More than 10,000 publishers globally are now using Instant Articles, according to Brown and Simo, up 25 percent in the past six months alone, and more than one-third of all clicks to articles on Facebook are to Instant Articles.

Facebook acquired CrowdTangle, a platform that helps publishers formulate and monitor the performance of their content, last November, and Brown and Simo said CrowdTangle added more than 1,600 new partners in the first half of the year, with overall usage of the tool tripling.

CrowdTangle is now in use in more than 1,000 local newsrooms.

Brown and Simo also offered an overview of how Facebook collaborates with its news partners, saying that engagements include:

  • Executive roundtables bringing together leaders from “a diverse set of news organizations” in North America and Europe and tapping them for guidance and feedback.
  • Organizing workshops where engineers from publishers and Facebook can “identify and act on opportunities to improve current products,” including Instant Articles.
  • Facebook hosted four Facebook Journalism Project Hackathons in the first half of 2017—in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany—where news organizations and Facebook engineers worked together to “prototype and create solutions important to the news industry.”

Finally, the social network participated in 71 media industry events, as well as hosting 15 News Days—all-day events including product training, feedback sessions, partner showcases and one-on-one help desks for local journalists and audience, business and newsroom leads. Another 15 are scheduled for the next six months.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.