Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will be removing the News tab from its app in Europe in December. The move comes as the company has been shifting its focus to short-form video, such as Reels, in recent months.
The News tab was launched in 2019 as a way for users to get news from a variety of sources. However, it has never been a major part of the Facebook experience, and it has been criticized for its lack of transparency and its role in spreading misinformation.
In a statement, Facebook said that the decision to remove the News tab was made “after careful consideration.” The company said that it is “committed to helping people stay informed about the world around them,” but that it believes that “the best way to do this is through our News Feed, where people can see the latest updates from their friends, family, and favorite publishers.”
The removal of the News tab will not affect the availability of news on Facebook. Users will still be able to see news articles in their News Feed, and they will also be able to access news from publishers’ websites directly.
The decision to remove the News tab is the latest in a series of changes that Facebook has made in recent months. In July, the company announced that it would be ending its program of paying news publishers for their content. And in August, it said that it would be making changes to its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over news and other public content.
These changes reflect Facebook’s ongoing struggle to balance its role as a platform for news and information with its desire to keep users engaged and scrolling. The company has faced criticism from both sides of the debate, with some arguing that it is not doing enough to combat misinformation and others arguing that it is giving too much power to news publishers.
It remains to be seen how the removal of the News tab will affect Facebook’s relationship with news publishers. However, it is clear that the company is determined to focus on short-form video as its primary growth driver.