Facebook Bans News In Canada. Timeline Of Troubles With News Feed Feature – ABP Live

Facebook has recently announced that it is blocking news content on its platform in Canada. This is not the first time that the social media giant has had issues with its news feed feature in a country. Facebook has encountered such situations in the past as well. Before diving into Facebook’s journey, let us first understand what the News Feed feature is. News Feed appears on every Facebook user’s homepage and it highlights various information such as profile changes, upcoming events and birthdays of their friends. 

We will go through the timeline of how Facebook has evolved this feature and what roadblocks did the social media platform faced.

Facebook News Feed Timeline

2006 – Introduction Of News Feed On Facebook

In September 2006, this feature was first introduced to the world. The feature helped users to stay up to date with the recent happenings of their dear ones’ lives. However, after this feature was introduced, it enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause.

Users were also concerned about their activities being tracked by everyone that they know or have added to their friends. CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the site’s failure to include appropriate privacy features.

2010 – Facebook Gets Patent For Certain Aspects

In February 2010, the social media platform secured a patent on certain aspects of its News Feed. The patent covered News Feeds in which links were provided so that users could engage in the activity of another user. The Photos application which was a part of this allowed users to upload albums and photos. Each album could hold 200 photos. Privacy settings were applicable to individual albums.

Users could “tag”, or label, friends in a photo. After being tagged, the person would receive a notification about the tag with a link to the photo. This photo tagging feature was granted a patent in 2011.

2012 – Facebook Launches App Centre

On June 7, 2012, Facebook launched its App Center to help users find games and other applications.

2015 – Facebook Launches Instant Articles

On May 13, 2015, Facebook in association with major news portals introduced “Instant Articles.” The social media platform did this to provide news on the Facebook news feed without leaving the site.

2018 – Emphasis Change

On January 11, 2018, Facebook announced that it would change News Feed to prioritise friends/family content and de-emphasise content from media companies.

2020 – Australia Asks Facebook To Pay For News

In 2020, Australia asked Facebook to pay for the news that it was making available on it for users to read. Facebook in the beginning refused to do so however later it announced that it would spend $1 billion to license news material from publishers for the next three years.

This was in addition to the $600 million paid since 2018 through deals with news companies such as The Guardian and Financial Times.

2021 – Australia Passes Law Requiring Facebook To Pay For News

The Australian government passed a law requiring Google and Facebook to negotiate with news outlets to pay for their content or face arbitration.


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