Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it plans to spend at least $ 1 billion in the news industry over the next three years.
The announcement comes just days after a heated debate with the Australian government over how much Facebook news publishers should pay for content.
“We have invested $ 600 million since 2018 to support the news industry and plan to increase at least $ 1 billion over the next three years,” said Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Facebook, in a published Wednesday Blog.
“Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers,” added Clegg. “We are fully aware that quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies work – informing and empowering citizens and making those in power accountable.”
Last month, Facebook announced deals with a number of UK publishers, including The Guardian, Telegraph Media Group, Financial Times, Daily Mail Group and Sky News. As a result, publishers will see their content in Facebook News, a special area within the Facebook app that contains curated and personalized news from hundreds of national, local and lifestyle publications.
Clegg said similar agreements have been reached with publishers in the US and that Facebook is negotiating with publishers in Germany and France.
Facebook blocked news sites in Australia last Wednesday after the Australian government announced it was introducing a new law requiring Facebook to pay publishers to link their stories.
The ban was short-lived, however, as Facebook signed a deal with the Australian government on Monday to add news sites back to its platform.
Google also plans to spend $ 1 billion on news over the next three years.
Google announced last October that it plans to pay publishers to create and curate content for a new mobile product called Google News Showcase, which will initially go live in Brazil and Germany before rolling out in other countries.
Publishers such as Der Spiegel and Die Zeit in Germany and Folha de S.Paulo in Brazil have signed up for the rollout program.
“The business model for newspapers – based on ads and subscription income – has evolved for more than a century as audiences turned to other sources,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on a blog.
“The Internet was the last change, and it certainly won’t be the last … We want to do our part to support journalism in the 21st century.”