Meta launches its Facebook News feed in France

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Why the threats of Meta (ex-Facebook) say a lot about its weakening

Meta launches Facebook News, its news feed, in France. Already deployed since the end of 2019 in the United States and since 2021 in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, this information thread should allow the social media giant to put an end to its sulphurous image of a “fake news” spillway. .

If the service will initially be deployed to a small number of French Facebook users, it should be generalized to all by the end of May, promises Meta. “Alongside the classic news feed, Facebook News is the place where we only provide information from verified sources”, because produced by real media, argues the company’s management to Agence France -Press (AFP).

The launch of Facebook’s news feed follows an agreement reached last fall between the American giant and the Alliance for the General Information Press (APIG). This agreement plans to remunerate certain French daily press publishers for the use of their content for two years. The titles affected by this agreement range from Parisian-Today in France to Nice morning, Le Figaro, The Sunday newspaper or The echoes. Other media like Capital, Current wife, The Team, The Express Where Release will also be there.

Relaunch the hunt for new users?

In detail, the news feed will be accessible via a new tab available on the social media giant’s platform. This will give access to an information feed that will present journalistic content in the form of thumbnails, with the title of the article, an image and the name of the media. These will refer to the site of the media, which means that it will not be possible to read a paid article for free. The tab will be divided into two parts, one presenting the main information of the day and the other being for its part based on the centers of interest of the user.

It remains to be seen whether this feature will allow the social network to restore an image of respectability when it is often singled out for its role in the spread of misinformation content. The launch of this new offering also comes at a critical time for the social network, which recently suffered its first-ever drop in the number of daily active users on its platform.

If the latter is relatively low – we go from 1.93 billion in the third quarter to 1.929 billion in the fourth quarter – it is enough to worry: the apparently perpetually upward trajectory of Facebook users is no longer a safe bet.

A fragile platform

That’s not the only hurdle to overcome for Meta, whose traditional revenue stream on collecting user data is now under threat from Apple and its Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature. This requires app developers to obtain user permission in order to track their activity on other apps and websites when using an iPhone or iPad.

Since its appearance, it has therefore seriously reduced the ability of social networks to collect data from iPhones and iPads. Meta estimates that the data reduction caused by Apple’s decision will cost it $10 billion in the year 2022.

Race result: Mark Zuckerberg’s company had a dark day in early February, after the announcement of its quarterly and annual results. In 24 hours, the action of the group has lost nearly 240 billion dollars, or just over a quarter of its total market value, following a wave of panic among investors.

The company reported sharply growing costs and expenses in the fourth quarter of 2022, revealing operating losses of more than $3 billion for its new Reality Labs business unit, responsible for putting its metaverse. Meta also lowered its forecast for the first quarter of 2022.

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