When people see news on Facebook, they want to easily identify when it is timely. And news publishers have told us they want help highlighting urgent news stories on Facebook.
Over the last several months we ran a test that allowed more than 100 news publishers from North America, Latin America, Europe, India and Australia to identify and label stories as “breaking news” on Facebook. We found that people engaged more actively with stories marked as breaking news, showing us that this product helps people find news that’s important to them.
Starting today, we’re:
- Showing the breaking news label to people in more countries. Everyone in Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain and the UK is eligible to see the breaking news label. This is in addition to the US and Canada, where it’s been fully rolled out. All of these stories will also be tagged as “breaking news” in CrowdTangle, and we’re considering the label as a signal of timeliness in News Feed ranking in these countries.
- Beginning to test in more markets. We will expand the test to more countries in Europe and Asia to understand how people interact with breaking news in different countries.
“The “Breaking News” indicator is a step in the right direction for Facebook to increase transparency and urgency in people’s News Feeds.” – Cynthia Collins, Off-Platform Editor, The New York Times
We’re also making the breaking news product better. We launched third-party integrations with platforms like Social News Desk and SocialFlow, allowing publishers to more easily post breaking news stories through these third-party platforms. And we’ve made adjustments to the product based on feedback from our partners, allowing publishers to add the breaking news label after a post is live and delete a label from a post before the label has expired.
In the test period, we’ve seen that breaking news posts about politics, crime, disaster, and business perform best. We’re using data like this to help publishers understand how to use the label to connect people with the breaking news that they need to see most.
Most of all, we’ve been pleased to see that people are finding the extra visual indication useful, helping them feel more informed about what’s happening around them, when it happens. From our research we’ve found that people agree that the stories they see labeled as breaking news on Facebook are breaking news. As we continue to invest in this product, we expect to see people become even more accustomed to finding breaking news in News Feed.
For more behind-the-scenes details on how breaking news is breaking through on Facebook, visit this Inside Feed post.