Facebook news feed is shutting down in Europe. What does Meta want with news?

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadSep 06, 2023 | 15:03

Facebook news feed is shutting down in Europe. What does Meta want with news?

Facebook is killing its news feed section in the UK, France, and Germany come December. Meta announced the development on September 5, saying that it is part of their ongoing effort "to better align our investments to our products and services people value the most".

The move comes after Meta decided to block access to news content for Canadian users through Facebook and Instagram following the country's policy compelling the tech giant to pay news outlets. 


However, the current decision to axe the Facebook news feed tab is different from the Canadian news block. 

What did Meta say?

  • Meta assured users in this region that they will still be able to view and access news links and articles. European news publishers will have access to their Facebook accounts and pages.

  • They can still use Facebook services such as reels, advertisements, etc, to reach their audience and also keep 100% of revenue derived from the same. 
  • Links will be clickable and will lead to the news outlet's page. 
  • The social media company said that all agreements with news publishers will remain valid till they expire. 


  • Meta said it is deprecating the news feature because of users' lack of interest and engagement in the section. 
We know that people don't come to Facebook for news and political content - they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests.
- Meta
  • Meta also said that "news makes up less than 3% of what people around the world see in their Facebook feed". 
  • The news feed section also exists in the US and Australia, where Meta has so far not announced axing the feature. 
  • However, Meta in July said that it would stop paying US news publishers to put their content in the news feed section. 
  • In Australia, Meta entered into compensation agreements with news organisations, and the Canada-like policy was never implemented. 

Meta vs News

There's something happening about how Meta is treating news in recent times. Meta says the decision to axe the news tab is to funnel money and resources into services that are preferred by users. The low traffic to the news tab section, according to Meta's assessment, means that the majority of the users won't be affected by the decision. That's fine. But the details tell a different story about user preference. 

  • A recent report by UK-based news outlet Reach PLC found that Meta has quietly reduced referral traffic to media outlets, with digital news revenue falling 14.5% in the first quarter of 2023. 
  • The cause is reportedly due to "recent changes to the way Facebook presents news content, causing a reduction in referred traffic across the sector".
  • Before Meta shut down the news tab, it was already undermining the importance of news across its platforms. 
  • It switched from using human curators for the news tab section to relying on algorithms to rank news stories earlier this year. 
  • When it launched its Threads app, Meta said it isn't about news, despite the design being heavily copied from Twitter, where news and real-time events have hogged the platform for the majority of its existence. 

  • Meta's decision to block news access in Canada was especially criticised as the company cut off access to reliable news as wildfires raged across the country. 
Last updated: September 06, 2023 | 15:03
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy