Meta launches Facebook News in France

The content of the agreements between Meta and the publishers, while unknown, were negotiated individually with the press outlets according to their monetisation strategy, newspaper Les Echos reported. [Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock]

Meta has launched its Facebook News service in France, which will centralise news from around 100 media outlets from across the country and will be gradually rolled out from Tuesday (15 February) until all users can access it in May. EURACTIV France reports.

After the US, the UK, Germany, and Australia, France is the next country to see the arrival of Facebook News. Meta has started rolling out the new news feed on its flagship product, the Facebook social media website, and should appear in the feed of all users by May.

Facebook News, partnered with more than 100 media outlets in France, is expected to offer “news from a wide range of reliable and relevant news sources,” according to their press release.

This new space will link to the websites of partner media like the articles already posted on the Facebook pages of media groups or those that are already being shared on the news feeds of users.

This new tab will be divided into two parts, including a common base that will be the same for everyone and a personalised part that will be tailored according to the users’ interests.

The common part will be based on content selected by Media Services, a subsidiary of AFP, with which Facebook has a separate partnership in the framework of its fight against misinformation, despite Meta often being accused of being a vehicle for it.

“The choice of Meta to entrust Media Services with the curation of Facebook News in France is a recognition of the experience and quality of the work of our subsidiary specialising in on-demand editorial content,” AFP CEO Fabrice Fries has said.

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Neighbouring rights

The content of the agreements between Meta and the publishers, while still unknown, was negotiated individually with the press outlets according to their monetisation strategy, newspaper Les Echos reported.

According to the newspaper, the remuneration of publishers would be based on the online audience and the number of Facebook followers of each media. Smaller publishers would be entitled to a guaranteed minimum.

However, the new tab remains separate from the broader negotiations on neighbouring rights for which the French press has been eligible since the country transposed an EU directive on copyright in the EU single market into French law in July 2019.

According to this law, digital platforms like Facebook and Google are now required to pay press publishers when their journalistic content is being re-used across their services.

In July 2021, the French Competition Authority had reminded Google that negotiations on neighbouring rights should not take place in the framework of its global partnership around its new “Showcase” product.

In October, Facebook announced that it had reached a licensing agreement with some of France’s press publishers in the country’s publishers’ lobby, known as Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale (APIG). In this case, neither the remuneration levels nor the calculation methods have been made public so far.

However, with this framework agreement, Facebook News will be able to offer a very large panel of media as soon as it launches. These include French media like 20 Minutes, La Croix, Le Figaro, Le Journal du Dimanche, Le Parisien, and Les Échos, as well as many regional and local titles.

“With Facebook News, L’Équipe is very pleased that Facebook is affirming and demonstrating that journalistic content is an essential and indispensable asset in this digital world,” said Laurent Prud’homme, the CEO of sports newspaper L’Équipe, which is also a partner.

Facebook and French publishers reach deal on remuneration of news content

Facebook and the French publishers’ lobby known as Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale (APIG) have reached an agreement on the remuneration of journalistic content posted on the US giant’s platform, the two announced on Thursday. EURACTIV France reports.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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