Facebook tests removing publishers from News Feed — unless they pay

Facebook tests removing publishers from News Feed — unless they pay

[Ed. – As long as the fee structure is the same for liberal and conservatives sites, the decision is hard to fault in a free-market society.]

Watch out, publishers: a nightmare scenario on Facebook may soon be a reality.

The social network last week officially launched its secondary news feed called Explore. The feed generally features posts from Facebook Pages users don’t follow. News Feed, meanwhile, hosts posts from friends and Pages users do follow.

But that’s not true for everyone. In six markets, Facebook has removed posts from Pages in the original News Feed and relegated them to another feed, Filip Struhárik, editor and social media manager at Denník Nwrote. That means Facebook’s main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers. Instead, it’s a battlefield of “pay to play,” where publishers have to pony up the dough to get back into the News Feed.

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It’s a stark change from how media outlets have grown with Facebook. Publishers like BuzzFeed’s Tasty and NowThis grew via distributing viral posts and videos on News Feed, as Ziad Ramley, former social lead at Al Jazeera Englishwrote. While companies had to employ social media managers, they could generally rely on them sharing content without paying to boost it.

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