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Report: Facebook Will Soon Launch a Curated Media Section in the News Feed

Business

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Facebook is quietly readying media partners for Collections, a curated content module positioned within the News Feed. The product will reportedly function similar to Snapchat Discover.

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Facebook is developing a new module designed to amplify the reach of content from select media partners, according to a report from Business Insider. The curated experience will reportedly feature a series of articles and short video clips within the News Feed.

The new product is said to be called “Collections.” Interestingly enough, Facebook tested a separate product, also called Collections, back in 2012. That product – oriented toward retailers – was speculated as a Pinterest competitor at the time. The 2016 version mimics Snapchat’s Discover section, which is the platform’s devoted place for curated and sponsored media. Twitter has a similar feature, called “Moments.”

Snapchat famously turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013 – a move that CEO Evan Spiegel said was made due to the perceived “weakness” of the world’s largest social network. Since that time, Snapchat has grown to 150 million users and is finding success by reformatting the stories of the day in a Millennial and (especially) teen-friendly format within Discover. (Oh, and they’re getting into wearables, too.)

Parallel to ongoing pressures from Snapchat, Facebook heads into 2017 still rearing from the fake news finger-pointing that occurred in the days and weeks following the Election. While Mark Zuckerberg denied the platform’s ability to materially shape public opinion, he also announced plans to help fight the spread of false information.

Per the Business Insider report, it’s not yet clear if Collections will be available to brand partners beyond select media partners. That said, Collections would be well-received by advertisers who are already shelling out paid media dollars to break through the clutter within Facebook’s News Feed. With organic reach declining to squeeze in more ad inventory, Sponsored Stories are a must-have – not a nice-to-have – for the vast majority of brands seeking main feed exposure.

Facebook has already dabbled in curation with its Trending Stories feature, which has come under fire for surfacing fake news and suppressing conservative-leaning content.

Challenges with this part human, part algorithmic approach aside, it’s hard to argue Trending Stories’ ability to propel content to quickly reach large audiences. Facebook’s next foray into curation, Collections, should have similar success when it comes to showcasing content and stories across its 1.8 billion member network.

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