As Expected, Facebook Is No Longer Interested In Paying News Orgs To Post News On Facebook That No One Wants

from the what-else-did-you-expect dept

Just a few weeks we noted that this was inevitable, but Facebook has now made it official that it’s no longer interested in dumping money on news publishers.

A lot has changed since we signed deals three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the U.S. Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn’t make sense to over-invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences,”

This should not be a surprise. For many years now, news publishers who refused to adapt to the changing times and changing news ecosystem blamed Facebook for their own failures to adapt, and then started demanding that Facebook (and Google) just give them money. We warned, repeatedly, that this was a dangerous game that wouldn’t end well,

And, yet, all we’ve heard for years from many in the news world is that Facebook and Google needed to pay journalism organizations. Indeed, Rupert Murdoch got so focused on this that he convinced Australia to force those companies to pay — and the idea is being proposed in many other places as well.

And, so, now Facebook is realizing that news on its platform is much more of a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have.”

Still, I guess a few giant orgs made out nicely for a few years while Facebook was effectively paying them off:

Meta spent more than $10 million on its news partnership with the Wall Street Journal, more than $3 million on its deal with CNN, and more than $20 million on its partnership with the New York Times, sources told Axios. In some cases, the partnerships also unlocked paywalled content.

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Companies: facebook, meta

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Comments on “As Expected, Facebook Is No Longer Interested In Paying News Orgs To Post News On Facebook That No One Wants”

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14 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Why am I not surprised? I guess the action now from news outlets around the world won’t be to upgrade their methods to make news a wanted item again. Likely they will blame FaceBook and Google (when Google does this) for the fall off of net traffic.

Nearly all news I saw from official sources always included a link to the article. This directed the reader to the full story at the site originating the news spot.

The problem with internet news is it is sourced all over the world. As a global source, you can’t get the local news from them unless it hits national news or better. Why should I or anyone pay for a one time access to a news article when I can wait a day, re-enter the topic, and find another source not requiring a subscription nor deal with a paywall for that one item? I’m surely not going to make a subscription for a year or a quarter year for one article. It’s simply not economical in these days of inflation.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'You need us more than we need you.'

Cue publishers screeching about how it’s unfair for a company to prioritize itself over them and how the government absolutely needs to step in and force Facebook to keep hosting and paying for links and excerpts to their super-duper vital content…

Well it took a while of trying to pay the problem away but it sounds like unless Facebook is just trying to knock their danegeld down a bit the publishers might get to find out that in fact they need Facebook more than Facebook needs them, and what happens when Facebook realizes that and decides that it’s simply not worth paying them anything for what amounts to unwanted content that’s costing the platform more than playing along gets them.

Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re:

Because I don’t live in a country where it’s pretended that books are works for hire, it’s not copyright infringement for me to post the poem.

Dane-Geld

A.D. 980-1016

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
“We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
!So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: –

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”

~Rudyard Kipling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It was published in 1911, so it’s in the public domain in the US. The whole “life of the author plus 70 years” only applies to works published after 1977.

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
“We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: —
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!”

  • Rudyard Kipling, Dane-Geld
Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:

In the UK, we had life+50 until 1996, when it went up to life+70. So all of Kipling’s works were in the Public Domain for nine years, went back under copyright for another eleven years, then re-entered the Public Domain in 2007. In the US, it’s pretended that books are works for hire even though authors look for publishers, not the other way around, so 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation is the term that’s applied rather than the more appropriate life+70. Additionally, the Mickey Mouse Protection Act extended the terms for all works still under copyright, not just those published after 1977.

Drew Wilson (user link) says:

Question

It seems inevitable that links to news organizations are going to be eliminated on Facebook (or, just never promoted). Obviously, Facebook still contains a huge amount of traffic. So, my question is, if a news organization wants in on that, but shares the lack of interest in links on the platform with Facebook, what would an alternative be?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re:

And that is the question that is a couple decades old, when the news giants thought the internet was just a fad and they didn’t need to adapt because they were to important to the world.

The idea that the platform should pay for sending traffic to a news site is completely insane & even as they got various laws around the globe to make it happen they never ever learned the most important lesson… News needs the platforms more than the platforms need them.

Pay us for linking to us!!
stops linking to them to avoid the tax
Its not fair!!!
We aren’t getting as much traffic as we did before!!
Make them carry us and pay us for it!!

Of course this isn’t being helped by private equity and other assholes buying up media organizations & trying to find more money to extract before they stop doing those horrible things to the corpse.

If FB really wanted to screw with the media, they would invent FB News. A pool of contract workers reporting on things just for FB, given how many current media outlets are scared of reporting on some people/things & worry more about how they appear than the truth they probably could make a good go of it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re:

So, my question is, if a news organization wants in on that, but shares the lack of interest in links on the platform with Facebook, what would an alternative be?

Two(and a half) answers come to mind, what they should have done and what they likely will do.

They should have spent the last couple of years/decades working to provide enough value on their own platforms/sites that people would go there to get their news, and barring that they shouldn’t have been so stupid as to attack the very platforms sending them traffic for free.

What they likely will do is scream about how unfair it is for platforms to respond with ‘if you use our content you must pay us’ with ‘then we’ll no longer use your content’ and go crying to the government to make the social media and other companies pay them since it’s so very important that everyone subsidize them to keep them from sinking under their own irrelevance/incompetence.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s like paying kidnappers you only encourage them to kidnap more innocent people, in the age of tik Tok, YouTube, twitch, theres no reasons for Facebook to be paying millions to newspapers , meta wants to turn slowly into tik Tok, to gain younger users, Instagram users are complaining their photos are being hidden by posts promoting random videos

Anonymous Coward says:

Frankly, I’m shocked it took them so long. After the third country proposed a link tax, I would have (assuming I was in a position to do so):
* scrapped Facebook News (redirecting all links to a webpage explaining why),
* permabanned the news orgs pushing a link tax (and explained why),
* permablocked any links to those news orgs’ sites (with a pop-up explaining why), and
* quietly prepared to exit Australia entirely if this blew up the wrong way.

Seriously, Australia’s just…not that big. It’s smaller (in population) than eight of the major European powers. If theybwere looking for a test case, Australia is better than Germany or Spain.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Breaking news: news is dead

In the United States, news has become so cut n paste and so politically motivated, that the general population no longer cares.
Only two papers have added readers in measurable numbers of interest in the last 8 years. WSJ and NYT.
WaPo and NYP both have dedicated followings for political reasons.

Local papers have become completely local. Dirt sheets and rags and community papers, low cost or free, have replaced most big city subscriptions.

USA Today has Uber prop behind the scenes to keep it moving. Mega advertising . Massive distribution. They survive if not one paper sells.

So in reality, they are falling into a deeper and deeper hole.
See: link fees aren’t going to hurt anyone. The companies will simply blacklist linking to major news. Links that have low click through in the first place.

Bubye big news. There’s the door. Don’t mind it hitting you on the way out.

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