Facebook is second only to Google in terms of how it has changed the way we get news, which is why the company is currently in discussions with at least six media companies to host their content directly on Facebook. This means that these companies would have direct access to the social network’s 1.4 billion users and that these users won’t even need to leave the website in order to catch up on news.
Nothing attracts news organizations like Facebook. And nothing makes them more nervous. With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site. Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.