Facebook is going to create a new news section in its video streaming platform Facebook Watch to feature breaking news stories.
The move, which Campbell Brown, the company’s year-old head of news partnerships, announced onstage at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, is part of a broader evolution of Facebook’s news strategy.
Facebook launched the Watch platform in August as a way to compete more directly with other video distribution platforms online.
Competitors like YouTube and Snap also have their own original content, but with Watch — and the news focus — it’s taking a big step forward.
The social media giant has struggled in recent years to manage the quality of news content that’s being shared on the platform and how news is being consumed by the massive Facebook audience. That said, Campbell continued to recite the Facebook line of self-effacement with the company’s involvement in the media landscape.
“People don’t come to Facebook for news, they come to Facebook for friends and family,” Brown said onstage.
Facebook is focusing on local news publishers rather than big national outlets to change the conversation and focus on utility of the platform.
“I don’t think our focus on false news and integrity morphed into time well spent,” says Adam Mosseri, VP of news feed. “For those set of issues, stuff that violates community standards or false news, those things need to be confronted head-on. You have to assume that you’re dealing with an adversary who’s sophisticated and their strategy will change over time, so the work never ends.”