SAN FRANCISCO -- At its annual developers conference, Facebook’s head of media products dodged a question regarding a report this week that said the social network is in talks to begin hosting articles from news publications.
“We’re talking to publishers about a range of things to make this better for people and for publishers,” Facebook’s Michael Cerda said at a session about media and publishing on the social network. “What we can’t talk about today are things we haven’t announced yet. When we do announce things, we’ll tell you all about them. We’ll be very excited when we do, but we're not ready to talk about those things yet.”
After dodging the question, Cerda was asked if that meant Facebook wasn’t denying the report. “I mean who can deny things, things like this?” Cerda said laughing.
The Menlo Park, California, tech giant is in talks to host content from a handful of publications including the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, the New York Times reported Monday. For Facebook, the benefit of this would be the ability to serve content to users even more quickly than it already does, while publishers would get a cut of advertisements on Facebook that would run alongside their content.
Facebook hopes to begin testing this new article format in the next couple of months, but so far, no deals have been finalized, the report said. Hosting content would be nothing new for Facebook. It already gets publishers to post their photos and original video on the platform. Getting media companies to post their articles directly on Facebook is the last bit of content the tech giant needs.