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Facebook to shut down news tab in US and Australia, citing declining user interest

Meta temporarily shut down news content in Australia before eventually signing a three-year deal with news publishers in the country.

Meta plans to shut down the Facebook News tab – a dedicated tab in the bookmarks section on Facebook that spotlights news – in the United States and Australia in April 2024. Meta explained its decision by stating that the number of people using Facebook news in the two countries has dropped by 80% in the last year. This decision follows the company's earlier shutdown of the tab in the UK, France, and Germany. Meta's resistance to paying for news: While the company states that this decision is motivated by Facebook users' declining interest in news, it is important to note that Australia had previously demanded that Meta and Google reach revenue-sharing deals with news publishers. Meta even temporarily shut down news content in Australia before eventually signing a three-year deal with news publishers in the country. Notably, this deal was signed in March 2021 and should therefore be ending in March 2024. In 2022, the US introduced a bill to allow digital news organizations to negotiate collectively and secure fair terms from online platforms like Google and Facebook that regularly access news content without paying for it. Based on a recent blog post, the deals Meta had with publishers in the US and the UK have expired. Meta states that the shutdown of the news tab ends existing Facebook News agreements with publishers in Australia, France, and Germany. However, it clarifies that it will not enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in any of the countries…

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