Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the world’s largest social network may get a dedicated tab for “high-quality news” this year. While this section will be free for Facebook users, Zuckerberg has hinted that publishers might be paid to feature their content in this dedicated news tab.
Zuckerberg floated this idea in a conversation with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner. He talked about building a Facebook feature so that users who want to access more news content can do that. In this case, Facebook would “potentially have a direct relationship with publishers to make sure that their content is available, if it’s really high-quality content.”
That could mean Zuckerberg is open to Facebook paying publishers some kind of a licensing fee for sharing their content for its dedicated news tab. “That’s definitely something that I think we should be thinking about here, because the relationship between us and publishers is different in a surface where we’re showing the content on the basis of us believing that it’s high-quality, trustworthy content,” he added.
He made no mention of any plans to charge Facebook users to access that content. A person familiar with the CEO’s thinking added that this news tab would likely remain free as this isn’t a revenue play for the company.
It’s important to note that Facebook hasn’t entirely committed to paying publishers directly so things could change as the company works on this plan further. It may continue to entice them with ad revenue instead with minimum guarantees. A Facebook source told Recode that it’s expected that this new tab will be up and running by the end of this year.