Facebook reassures publishers, as traffic falls off a cliff [The Interface]

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On Monday, Facebook said that in six countries it would banish publishers to a separate feed, away fr
 

The Interface

October 24 · Issue #12 · View online
An evening newsletter about Facebook, social networks, and democracy.

On Monday, Facebook said that in six countries it would banish publishers to a separate feed, away from users’ friends and family members, as part of a wide ranging test. Early results show that publishers’ traffic in those countries is plunging, putting US publishers on red alert.
And today? Well: “today we are releasing News Feed Publisher Guidelines, which include ‘do’s and don’ts’ to help publishers succeed on our platform.” The guidelines include an updated set of best practices for publishers to follow; for example, Facebook will now reward links and videos that users spend more time with.
This all feels a little schizophrenic, even for 2017. It fell to News Feed honcho Adam Mosseri to reconcile the twin announcements at an event today at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. At a high level, Facebook is doing what it always does: try to figure out what things will keep people returning to Facebook as often as possible. Even if that means sending the journalism industry into a frenzy.
Still, there was one piece of good news for alarmed publishers: according to someone I spoke with, Mosseri said that reduced that if the 6-country experiment showed reduced news consumption, that would be considered a mark against rolling it out globally. Facebook wants publishers to earn a return on their investment, and he said, and to continue showing users the links and videos they want.
In the meantime, publishers will pore over the new News Feed guidelines, the publisher-free News Feed test will continue, and everyone in the content industry will luxuriate in the bubble bath of anxiety that is working in media.
And now for some links, which we put right here in the main feed of this email!

Democracy
When the Facebook Traffic Goes Away
These are Twitter’s new policy changes for ads following Russia’s election interference
Exclusive: Zuckerberg group to spend $45 million on political causes
Lobby Group for Facebook, Google to Pitch Self-Regulation of Ads
DOJ Subpoenas Twitter About Popehat, Dissent Doe And Others Over A Smiley Emoji Tweet
What I learned investigating Facebook's fake accounts — by creating them
New Charts Show What The Russian Troll @TEN_GOP Account Was Tweeting This Summer
Takes
Facebook is telling news outlets how to do their job.
Antitrust Philosophy, Two More Follow-Ups, Spectacles Inventory — and Mea Culpas
Business
Less than half of Snapchat Spectacles owners used glasses after 1 month
Zuck
New Data Shows Mark Zuckerberg's US Tour Isn't Helping His Image
Elsewhere
The Russian state news outlet, RT, has thrived on YouTube. Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal took a look at its influence:
Russia’s Favored Outlet Is an Online News Giant. YouTube Helped.
Russia State News Outlet RT Thrives on YouTube, Facebook
Launches
You can now go live on Instagram with a friend
Facebook finally adapts to 4K video | TechCrunch
LinkedIn boosts its messaging with smart replies, pre-written, AI based interactions
Dates
Facebook’s F8 conference returns to San Jose May 1-2, 2018
And finally
Facebook apologizes after wrong translation sees Palestinian man arrested for posting ‘good morning’
Tips
Tips? Comments? Complaints? Concerns? casey@theverge.com
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Carefully curated by Casey Newton with Revue.
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