Journalists and newsrooms have long been using Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) as platform to share and publish content, but the Menlo Park, Calif., company now wants to be a news source too.
Facebook launched “FB Newswire” on Thursday, a new feature aimed at making Facebook a better real-time resource for journalists and newsrooms. FB Newswire aggregates newsworthy content from notable people and organizations in a format that makes it easy to embed and share into news media.
It’s a bit ironic that Facebook is using a rival social media service to publish its newswire content. Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) has long been used by journalists as a newswire, and FB Newswire seems to be an effort by Facebook to challenge Twitter as a real-time news source while tacitly admitting that Twitter is better suited for breaking news.
For what it’s worth, Twitter also just redesigned profile pages to look a lot more like Facebook.
FB Newswire is powered by Storyful, a social news project launched in April 2010 by Irish journalist Mark Little that News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) acquired in December for $25 million.
“In Storyful, we’re excited to have found a partner with a track record of understanding both the potential of the social Web as a key resource for media as well as the tools that newsrooms need to utilize it,” Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships, said in a press release. “We’re confident that their news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting.”
Facebook has put a lot of effort into building partnerships with media organizations. In addition to licensing content to major media groups and having an official community for journalists, Facebook uses its Trending Topics feature to promote content and tweaked News Feed to highlight articles.
Facebook says traffic to media sites from Facebook quadrupled in 2013.