Facebook Is Developing a News Tab and Hiring Journalists to Curate the Top News Section

Algorithms will populate other areas

Facebook’s latest attempt to curate the news will involve giving its algorithms some human help in the form of experienced journalists.

The social network said Tuesday that it is developing a news tab, set apart from its News Feed, and it is hiring a “small team of seasoned journalists” to focus on the Top News section of that news tab, adding that publishers and users have told the company that they believe a team of journalists is the best option for curating that Top News section.

Facebook said it is in the process of reaching deals with some publishers to provide access to more of their content via application-programming interfaces in order to ensure that the social network has enough news across a range of topics that can be shared in a timely manner.

The company will also partner with those publishers on further product developments.

The social network also pointed out that publishers can monetize their content that appears under the news tab the same way they currently do for their stories in News Feed and via its Instant Articles offering.

Facebook went out of its way to differentiate the upcoming news tab from its Trending feature, which it discontinued last June.

The company said job postings for the new roles will go live as soon as later Tuesday, and eventual members of this team will select breaking news and top stories for the Top News section, but they will not edit headlines or stories, or write content.

Other sections of the news tab will be curated via algorithm, based on signals including user controls, pages followed by people, publishers they subscribe to and news on Facebook they already share or interact with.

Facebook vice president for global news partnerships Campbell Brown said in a statement, “Our goal with the news tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people. The majority of stories people will see will appear in the tab via algorithmic selection. To start, for the Top News section of the tab, we’re pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure that we’re highlighting the right stories.”