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Facebook will shut down its News tab in the US and Australia in early April 2024

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Facebook is officially putting its efforts into becoming a major online news source to bed. Meta announced late on Thursday that it will shut down the Facebook News tab in both the US and Australia sometime in early April 2024.

The Facebook News tab was first launched less than five years ago, in October 2019. It was designed to be a separate news feed outside of a Facebook user's personal feed, where people could keep up with the day's top news stories, with special topic sections dedicated to news from sports, health, science, and more. However, in late 2023, the Facebook News tab was closed down in a number of major European countries.

In Thursday's blog post announcing its closing in the US and Australia, Meta repeated the reasons it gave for why it was closing the Facebook News tab in Europe. It said that news stories only make up about 3 percent of what an average person views on their Facebook feed. It added that the number of people who used Facebook News in the US and Australia went down by a massive 80 percent in the past year. Meta says they want to concentrate their Facebook development efforts on what their users want to see the most, which includes short-form videos.

Of course, the shutdown of Facebook News does not mean news organizations will be leaving Facebook. Meta stated:

People will still be able to view links to news articles on Facebook. News publishers will continue to have access to their Facebook accounts and Pages, where they can post links to their stories and direct people to their websites, in the same way any other individual or organization can.

Meta still has Facebook News agreements with publishers in Australia, France, and Germany. Meta says the terms of those publisher agreements will continue in those countries until they eventually expire.

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