Currently, Meta relies on AI-based content to keep users focused on its APPs, and has recently stated that news content is no longer a priority, terminating content deals with publishers and reducing investment in Daily News, Articles, and newsletters.
As a result, the latest push in the United States to force Meta to pay more to news publishers appears particularly at the wrong time.
The contentious ‘Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA)’ could be signed into law in 2023, according to reports.
The JCPA would pave the way for a law that would allow US media companies to negotiate a larger share of ad revenue with social media sites in return for the use of their content which means Meta has to pay for links to news on its website.
This is a disputed policy. However, with the Australian Treasury Department recently reporting its similar Media Bargaining Code has been a success and their local media market is making millions, other countries like New Zealand are now considering doing likewise.
Meta has made it clear that it isn’t not prioritizing news content and is willing to end all news on their platform.
“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions.”
Australia’s media is much smaller than that of the United States. Would Meta really ban all US news outlets from posting content in its APPs, and if so, what would that mean for engagement?
This is the crux of the argument. On the one hand, news organizations argue that Meta’s reporting generates a significant amount of engagement.
However, Meta sees this as a relationship of mutual benefit in which media companies use Meta APPs to optimize visibility, which in turn helps them drive their business.
And, once again, Meta has been shifting away from news content and toward showing users short videos based on AI-powered recommendations for every user.
Given this, is Meta now in a position to cut off news publishers?
With Meta announcing major cuts, you can bet it’s not going to give up any revenue easily.
It’s early days, but this could be one to keep an eye on, as Meta may face a conflict with publishers in several countries next year.
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