Facebook is once again trying to refine how its users consume newspaper articles. Last November, the site gave a small group of local and national publishers the opportunity to include a “Breaking News” label on their stories. Starting today, Facebook is extending its “Breaking News” test to more than 50 additional publishers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia.
“If the expansion succeeds, we could add other publishers,” writes Joey Rhyu, Facebook’s product manager, on the site’s news blog.
According to the announcement, publishers with access to the label can include it on instant articles, mobile and web links and Facebook Live videos. Facebook indicates that publishers may use the label once a day (but will have an additional pool of up to five indicators per month) and may choose to include it in a story for up to six hours .
The label comes with analysis tools so that publishers can see in their Page Insights how their “Breaking News” publications unfolded. Facebook says that readers will also be able to mark whether or not they think that a story is breaking news by clicking the drop down menu at the top right of a message.
According to reviews of sites with access to the label, such as the Washington Post, Facebook has recorded a 4% increase in click-through rates and comments, a 7% increase in mentions and likes an increase of 11% of shares with the “Breaking News” tag published between December 8, 2017 and January 14, 2018.
“We are excited to be working with Facebook to bring the latest news to their platform and are excited – but not surprised – to see readers responding as they did,” says Dave Merrell, head of produced at the Washington Post.