Facebook courts journalists with newswire tool

Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:25am IST

A portrait of the Facebook logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A portrait of the Facebook logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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(Reuters) - Facebook (FB.O) said on Thursday that it has created a newswire tool tailored to journalists, part of a broader effort to be the go-to place for conversation for its 1 billion users.

Called FB Newswire, it is designed to help journalists share and embed newsworthy Facebook content that is made public by its members such as photos, status updates and videos. (www.facebook.com/FBNewswire)

Facebook is teaming up with News Corp's (NWSA.O) Storyful, the media tool that verifies and manages copyright of news and video on social media platforms like Twitter.

"News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before, and journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook," wrote Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnership at Facebook, in a blog post announcing FB Newswire.

Social media platforms have become a gold mine for journalists. Facebook, Twitter (TWTR.N), Google's (GOOGL.O) YouTube and others are rich in source material, as many people around the world use them to communicate, including during periods of upheaval.

Acknowledging that many journalists use Twitter to uncover material, Facebook is also providing a Twitter feed, @FBNewswire.

"We work closely with our news partners and as we look at the opportunities clearly Facebook was being used as a place to gather news," Mitchell said in an interview with Reuters.

Facebook's newsfeed, where people post stories, status updates and photos, is an integral part of the company's revenue growth and it injects paid marketing messages straight into the news stream.

On Wednesday, Facebook reported a 72 percent increase in revenue to $2.5 billion during the first quarter because of a surge in advertising.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

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