Facebook launches FB Newswire for journalists, breaking news


Every day, news is made on Twitter, not Facebook -- that's why the social network giant is taking another crack at becoming the go-to tool for journalists, as well as for breaking news. First came embeddable posts, Trending Topics, hashtags and Paper -- the news magazine app that was launched in February.

The latest of several attempts to be a real-time news source like microblogging site, Twitter, this new tool is supposed to help with separating the news from the noise. Enter FB Newswire, a tool that is supposed to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook.

Facebook announced the new service on Thursday, acting as a news aggregator that is verified by Storyful, a self-proclaimed "news agency of the social media age," according to its website. Storyful typically discovers newsworthy stories, verifies, acquires and delivers the social content to newsrooms.

"Storyful has established themselves as the leader in discovering, verifying and packaging the best social content for hundreds of newsrooms across the world, so they were a natural fit for this partnership," a Facebook spokesperson told CBS News in an email.

With FB Newswire, Storyful is essentially doing the same process, except it is shared publicly on Facebook. Using public status updates on the social media site from individuals and organizations, the aggregated content will include everything from photos to videos to text -- all for journalists to use in their reporting.

"We hope it will serve as a powerful tool and destination for newsrooms and journalists who are trying to source authentic content and amazing new stories," writes Aine Kerr, the managing editor of Storyful, in a blog post.

Twitter has become a destination for journalists to find trending stories, post news and even to reach out to potential sources. Facebook appears to want to change that. After adding new features and making some changes to its news feed, referral traffic from Facebook to media sites grew more than four times in 2013, according to the company, without actually specifying what that number was.

Even though the social media giant appears to be trying to overtake Twitter on the news front, it seems as though it can't be free of its microblogging competitor -- FB Newswire also has a Twitter account, in addition to its Facebook page.

What about the company's newest app, Paper? As the company has said from the beginning, Facebook isn't too focused on downloads, says the spokesperson. Rather, it has been to make sure that users really love the experience and continue to be engaged with it. As for growth, it's something the company will be working on down the road.