The logo of Facebook and Google apps is displayed on a tablet.
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LONDON – Facebook announced that it would start rolling out its Facebook news product in the UK on Tuesday, and would pay publishers for their content.
Facebook News is a dedicated section within the Facebook app with curated and personalized news from hundreds of national, local and lifestyle publications.
The product, which competes with Apple News, was launched in the US last June and the UK is the second country to have access to it.
Facebook claims that the product delivers “informative, reliable and relevant news to users”, while also highlighting original and official reporting on pressing topics. “
Facebook’s European director of news partnerships, Jasper Daube, said in a blog post on Tuesday, “This is the beginning of a series of international investments in news.”
He said: “The product is a multi-year investment that puts original journalism in front of new audiences and at the same time provides publishers with more advertising and subscription opportunities to build sustainable businesses for the future.”
Facebook announced the UK launch of Facebook News in November, stating that it would feature content from media partners including Condé Nast, Hartst, The Economist and Guardian Media Group.
On Tuesday, Facebook said it has now signed up Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group.
Some content that is usually behind a paywall is free to view on Facebook News, which is expected to launch in more countries this year.
“We will continue to learn, listen and improve as it continues in the UK and other markets including France and Germany, where we are in active dialogue with partners,” said Dub.
Tech giants like Facebook and Google are increasing pressure to pay media companies for their content.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC that the company would pay some UK publications to feature its content in Facebook news, but was unable to reveal how much.
“We will pay some publishers to participate in the Facebook news,” he said. “We are paying for content that is not already on the platform to achieve a wide range of subject areas.”
He said: “For most publishers appearing in Facebook News, monetization will be similar to monetization through other Facebook tabs, which push people to hit a paywall, in quick articles of your traffic or advertisements for your site. “
Last week, Google signed an agreement to pay French publishing companies and news agencies for their content.
The agreement comes after several months of negotiations between Google France and media groups, which are represented by France’s Alliance de la Press de-Information Generallé Lobby.
Google said that it would negotiate a personal license with members of the alliance that covered related rights and established access to a new mobile service for the company called NXCase.
The Internet giant had refused to do so for years after the search giant said last year that it would pay news publishers for the first time. The company agreed to initial deals in Germany, Australia and Brazil, and now appears to have extended to France.
But when the Australian government proposed a new law that would force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for the right to link to their content, Google pulled its widely used search engine from the country Threatened.
Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said, “If this version of the code had become law then it would have been combined with unbearable financial and operational risk, giving us no real alternative.” Told a Senate committee last week.
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said in a press conference, “We do not respond to threats.”
– Additional reporting by CNBC’s Ryan Brown.