Meta Ends Payments to News Outlets

Large publishers will lose out on millions
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2022 6:38 PM CDT
Meta Drops Contracts Paying News Outlets
Stock photo   (Getty Images/artisteer)

Meta is dropping its payments to publishers whose news content runs on Facebook's News Tab, a decision that will cost some outlets millions of dollars. Facebook negotiated a series of three-year deals with publishers in 2019, part of its investment in news that included hiring journalists to steer publisher traffic. "A lot has changed," a spokesperson told Axios, adding, "Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn't make sense to overinvest in areas that don't align with user preferences." The deals also were a response to criticism of tech companies for not paying for content on their sites, per Gizmodo.

The payments totaled more than $100 million. More than $20 million of that went to the New York Times, $15 million to the Washington Post, and $10 million to the Wall Street Journal. News publishers could still have their content posted on Facebook but without being compensated. News isn't a priority in the company's metaverse vision, and executives hated having to pay for posts linking between sites, per Gizmodo. Also, cutting costs might be attractive now to Meta, which reported its first revenue decline ever on Wednesday.

Meta does not pay for news posted by on its platform by outlets, per the AP. The company said the News Tab contracts covered "incremental content," providing "access to more of their article links" and ensuring a range of subjects. The content contracts will remain in place in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia. (Read more Meta stories.)

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