Facebook is finally releasing a way to fix the issues on it’s Trending and Search.
The platform is now putting publishers’ logos alongside articles in its Trending and Search sections, offering a bit of branding as context with the content on its platform.
That’s just the beginning. Publisher logos will start appearing elsewhere on Facebook.
“To start, we are introducing these logo treatments exclusively for articles in Trending and Search, but the eventual goal is to extend these to all places where people consume news on our platform,” wrote Andrew Anker, product manager at Facebook, in a blog post.
Publisher logos already show up in the News Feed on posts via Pages.
Facebook cited the change as a result of its ongoing discussion with media companies via its Facebook Journalism Project, an effort launched in the wake of widespread criticism following the 2016 election.
People who get their news on Facebook tend not to realize where that content comes from, removing important information for readers as well as hurting the ability for publishers to build their audience. A Pew Research Center report found that only about half of online news readers could name where they had read a story. On top of that, Facebook was named by readers as the source of the news almost as much as any other outlet.
“CNN was named at least once over the week by 14% of those who followed links, similar to the 12% who named Fox News and 10% who named Facebook, even though Facebook does not produce the news stories distributed on the site,” Pew’s report noted.
Logos will appear on desktop and mobile, as well as when users search for topics. Publishers will need to upload their logos.
The change is small, but it’s a big deal for publishers that have a recognizable brand.
“The CNN branding is the first notification to the audience that they are going to get information from a trusted news source,” said Samantha Barry, head of social media at CNN. “The bigger and bolder we can make those three red letters—no matter the platform—it’s something we are looking for and working with partners on. It benefits everyone to amplify credible news sources.”
It’s is another step in Facebook’s recent embrace of publishers, adding to a growing willingness to pay for content as well as promote high-quality journalism. Facebook’s outsized power—it drives more readers to content than any other part of the internet—has weighed on media outlets, which have grown impatient with the social network’s changing demands and hesitancy to monetize its video operations.