Why did Facebook just hire a Managing Editor?

Facebook just hired Dan Fletcher and gave him the title of Managing Editor. Is this not really that big of a deal or is Facebook gearing up to shake up the online news industry?
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook has hired journalist Dan Fletcher to be the company's Managing Editor. I have contacted Facebook to see what his responsibilities will be at the social network and will update you if I hear back. Update: "Dan will help manage Facebook's own corporate communications channels, such as our Pages and blogs, which contain news and information about Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. The original story is below.

So, why did Facebook just hire a Managing Editor? There are a couple of plausible reasons. First of all, it's important to note that this is not the first journalist Facebook has hired (Vadim Lavrusik and Andrew Noyes come to mind). It's possible that Fletcher will simply work in public relations, keep other journalists informed about what Facebook is up to, and generally managed the press.

Many will argue this doesn't explain his "Managing Editor" title though. Another possibility is that Facebook isn't satisfied with just news apps and is looking to create its own webpage for delivering the news to its users.

We've done a bit of speculation, now let's check the rumor mill. Facebook is apparently looking at LinkedIn's LinkedIn Today as a possible model for a new feature, according to Business Insider. Frankly, I have always wanted to see Facebook do something between Google News and Techmeme. I will, however, settle for a Reddit or Hacker News powered by Likes.

Facebook recently registered three new domain names: facebook-newsroom.com ( "="" class="c-regularLink" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow">Whois), facebook-newsroom.net (Whois), and facebook-newsroom.org (Whois). I didn't cover the news because it wasn't that big of a deal at the time, but I'd like to emphasize now that it's still not. "The domains you reference are part of an upgrade to Facebook's press room, not part of a new product," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

Before Facebook, Fletcher studied Journalism at Northwestern University and also worked as a Photo Editor for his school's paper, The Daily Northwestern, from 2006 to 2009. Once he finished his studies, he jumped to Time as an Associate Editor from January 2009 to March 2011 (he wrote a Time cover story about Facebook and privacy as well as built Time's NewsFeed). He finally switched to Bloomberg as a Social Media Director from March 2011 to January 2012. In short, Fletcher hasn't held a job for more than three years; let's see how long he'll stay at Facebook as Managing Editor.

See also:

Editorial standards