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Facebook says it will deliver News Corp stories

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Agence France-Presse

Facebook on Friday confirmed that some stories from News Corp, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, will be delivered at a new “tab” planned at the leading social network.

“People want to see high quality news on Facebook,” co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement provided to AFP.

“I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to include award-winning journalism from The Wall Street Journal — and other US News Corp properties — in our news tab.”

No details were provided about the agreement.

Facebook said last month that it plans to pay only a portion of the publishers whose stories appear in a news tab set to launch in the weeks ahead.

Facebook has confirmed plans for a News Tab that will be edited by seasoned journalists, in a departure from its longstanding practice of letting algorithms dictate users’ experiences.

A human team will select relevant, reliable breaking and top news stories.

“The number of publishers included in the news tab will grow over time,” Facebook spokeswoman Mari Melguizo said in a statement provided recently to AFP.

“To ensure we’re including a range of topic areas, we’ll start by paying a subset of publishers who can provide a steady volume of fact-based and original content.”

A Wall Street Journal report earlier Monday said Facebook planned to pay about a quarter of the estimated 200 news organizations whose articles will be featured.

The tab will be separate from the trademark news feed at Facebook that displays updates and content from people’s friends, according to the California-based online social network.

Aside from human-curated top news, sections of the tab will rely on algorithms to figure out a user’s interests based on “signals” such as pages followed, interactions with online news or subscriptions to publications.

“Our goal with the News Tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP when the coming feature was revealed.

However the majority of stories people see will be determined by software, according to Brown.

Facebook has launched an array of initiatives to support or bolster journalism in recent years, as social media has been under intense pressure to avoid being used to spread misinformation.

The new tab comes as online platforms Facebook and Google dominate the market for online advertising, making it harder for traditional news organizations to gain traction in digital.

The two internet giants have unveiled several initiatives aimed at helping the news industry and professional journalism.

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