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Facebook launches Newswire to deliver breaking news

The new Facebook page will be a news curator and at the same time a news source for journalists.
By Ananth Baliga   |   April 24, 2014 at 3:22 PM
| License Photo

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 24 (UPI) -- Facebook launched Newswire Thursday, a page curated with news stories picked by the company or verified by other journalists from across the platform.

The new page will be curated in partnership with Storyful, a news agency that aggregates news content shared on social networks. Newswire will pick up status updates shared publicly by users and companies, and will include text articles, pictures and videos.

The new service will not only aggregate and curate news from around the world, it will also incorporate verifications to help journalists know that the stories are accurate and can be trusted. Facebook will use an algorithm to find popular and breaking news stories in various categories like sports, entertainment, tech and politics.

"It's going to be journalists every step of the way deciding what is of value, what should we verify, and going off and starting what is a very rigorous process at Storyful [to verify the story]," said Aine Kerr, managing editor at Storyful.

The move is essential to understanding how Facebook views itself in the news cycle. While Twitter maintains a healthy lead when it comes to providing the news and is the first go-to for most journalists, Facebook is attempting to provide a similar platform.

The first sign of this strategy was Facebook including the Trending feature, which shares what's trending on the service at any given time, with a lot of the content being news-related. Facebook will add to this by now providing actual verification to stories, possibly taking away some of the breaking news action away from Twitter.

These small steps have already helped Facebook, with referral traffic to news and publishing sites quadrupling in 2013, according to Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnerships.

Nearly 33 percent of adults under the age of 30 say they get their news from social media, surpassing newspapers and equalling those who said they got their news from TV, according to trends observed by Pew Research Center.

FB Newswire is accessible on Facebook at Facebook.com/FBNewswire and on Twitter at @FBNewswire, and will be updated in real-time with content related to top news stories.

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