Facebook pivots away from news after shoving it in our faces for years

Execs are chasing influencer and metaverse profits instead. founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks to the audience before introducing Jose Antonio Vargas at the ...
San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images/Hearst Newspapers/Getty Images

Facebook’s priorities are shifting again. The social network is planning to pivot its resources away from its News tab and Bulletin newsletter platform so it can divert those resources to funding the creator economy instead, according to a memo sent to employees.

The memo, a copy of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal, was sent by Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global media partnerships. Facebook will move engineering and product support employees to work on “building a more robust Creator economy,” the memo says.

Facebook has, in recent years, become a go-to destination for news aggregation, contributing to both skyrocketing ad revenue and massive headaches for Meta. Now, as regulators around the world contemplate charging Facebook to repost news stories, it seems the headaches have won out against any good to come from the News tab.

Full-throttle TikTok — There are two big reasons why Facebook is (mostly) ditching the News tab. The first is that tech watchdogs have been circulating regulations that would force Facebook to pay news outlets when posting their stories in the News tab. Faced with such fees in the past, Facebook has gone as far as to cut news from the platform entirely.

The other: Mark Zuckerberg is very threatened by TikTok’s meteoric rise to social media supremacy. He’s not alone here; just about every internet company is working to coax creators to their respective platforms. It’s why Meta has once again pivoted to video this year. Thus far, nothing Zuck has pulled out has been able to touch TikTok, though.

The eternal pivot — Facebook’s priorities are more confused than ever before. The quickly shifting social media landscape is difficult enough to keep up with as is, never mind doing so while also chasing metaverse revenue streams. Major Facebook products are being relegated to the back burner as Meta sniffs out where it can find the most cash.

Meta’s chaotic priority shifts have already been detrimental to the company, spurring mass employee exodus and reversing some of Facebook’s growth for the first time in many years. And let’s not forget to mention Meta’s overall value, which has plunged more than 43 percent in the last six months alone.

Not a great look.Google

There is, indeed, much money to be made in the creator economy. With Facebook users, employees, and investors already so confused about what future the platform is moving toward, though, switching gears once again could just serve to alienate everyone further.