While social media giant Facebook is best known for text stories and posts, it is continuing to make a push into video. The company announced this week that it plans to add a breaking news section to Facebook Watch, which is the home for all of the site’s video content.
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of content partnerships, made the announcement Monday during a presentation at the Code Media Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Facebook launched a video tab back in 2016, but at the time video was limited to personal video shared by users and their friends. In mid-2017, the new Facebook Watch tab launched and it included a mix of original programs and highlighted video from content partners. The original content ranges from original scripted short-form dramas and comedies to reality shows headed by familiar faces such as former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe.
The new breaking news section will reportedly focus on video from local news partners, although relevant video from national news organizations. It’s not yet clear which news outlets will be providing the breaking news videos, but Facebook continues to struggle with charges that it has allowed so-called “fake news” stories from smaller partisan news sites to be easily spread on its platform. But the videos will include advertising, and Campbell said in her announcement the video revenue would be shared with its video partners.
The new push for reputable news content comes at a time when several large advertisers have either pulled their ads from Facebook or are threatening to do so unless changes are made at the company. For instance, consumer products giant Unilever spent more than $2 billion on digital advertising in 2017. But in a speech this week, Unilever Chief marketing officer Keith Weed said the company will pull its ads from Facebook, YouTube and other platforms unless the tech industry can halt the spread of “toxic and divisive” content.
Facebook quickly responded to the complaint with a short statement reading in part: “We fully support Unilever’s commitments and are working closely with them.”