- Facebook is reportedly working on a new feature called "Collections" that would curate content from publishers and showcase it in the news feed, according to Business Insider, which spoke with people familiar with the project.
- While a launch date has not been determined yet, the social media giant has been consulting with media and entertainment companies about content creation for the new project.
- Collections would be similar to Snapchat’s Discover, which has grown quickly thanks to array of mobile-friendly content submitted by media partners.
Reports of a curated news feature from Facebook comes at a time when the company faces growing pressure regarding its role in the spread of fake news stories. The issue has heated up significantly in the aftermath of the recent presidential election, with some suggesting fake news on Facebook may have helped sway the results. Facebook eventually reversed course on its previous hands-off approach to news on the site with a promise to address the fake news issue.
Snapchat Discover’s content features a lot of listicles, video and other content that is in demand by mobile users. Facebook’s own Collections could similarly make content from publishers more appealing and possibly divert traffic away from fake news.
Facebook has had a rocky relationship with publishers, and Collections could also be an attempt to try to repair these relationships. Earlier this year, traffic to U.S. media websites from Facebook dropped by as much as 50% following changes to the platform’s algorithm, putting a bigger emphasis on posts from friends.
The news is the latest example of how Facebook is borrowing heavily from Snapchat, whose popularity is on the upswing, as Facebook works to retain its relevance with younger users. Facebook has launched a standalone ephemeral video message app in Brazil while Facebook Messenger is experimenting with its own 24-hour multimedia feed, similar to Snapchat’s, and Instagram too is going after Snapchat with curated video.