Facebook talking to news outlets about Facebook editions

Facebook is looking to launch Facebook editions, app versions of news websites, according to a recent report.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook is asking a select number of news outlets to produce "Facebook editions." It's not exactly clear how Facebook editions will work, but they're described as app versions of news websites that can be read and consumed right on Facebook.

At least a dozen news outlets have agreed to participate, including CNN, the Washington Post, and The Daily (The New York Times was invited as well, but it declined to participate due to conflicts with its recently implemented paywall). The first Facebook editions are expected to arrive later this year, perhaps as early as September, according to sources familiar with the project cited by Forbes.

It's not clear what kind of financial arrangements are involved. One could speculate that they are similar to the deals Facebook is making with TV and movie studios and networks: the company may ask for a cut of revenues generated by subscription and advertising sales generated by Facebook editions.

Of course, this is still a rumor at this point. "We have nothing new to announce," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "The top media sites around the world are integrated with Facebook and we're constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations." Google is meanwhile working on, or is at least considering, a similar idea. The search giant also had nothing to state publicly.

The news websites want more direct access to Facebook's 750 million users, while the social network just wants to keep its users on the site longer. Think about all the news and interesting links that you and your friends share: all of them currently redirect you to another website. Facebook wants to minimize this while still keeping its partners, in this case news outlets, happy and in business.

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