Facebook is launching new publisher logos for content posted on the platform so that users can determine whether it is trustworthy and reliable before they consume it. The logos will feature alongside content found in the topical Trending section and within search results on the social media site on desktop and mobile.
The industry’s major players have been tasked with improving their methods to combat fake news this year, and Facebook’s latest move should help users better differentiate relevant, high-quality articles and videos from fabricated news from lower-quality sources. The changes will start rolling out this week.
While enhancing people’s awareness of content sources is a top priority for Facebook, the arrival of logos will also enable brands to strengthen and enhance their own image. The uniformity of the social giant’s layout style has arguably robbed publishers of their unique identities, and logos will go some way to remedying that.
Facebook said that a survey from the Pew Research Centre showed that just 56 per cent of readers were able to recall the source of news that they read across social media sites and that “surfacing publisher logos next to article links” would be beneficial for both brands, which can extend their identities, and users, who will be more aware of exactly where content comes from.
Samantha Barry, CNN’s Executive Producer of Social and Emerging Media, welcomed the arrival of logos. She added: “When people see those three red letters, they know it symbolises trusted, reliable and real news, so any effort by Facebook to emphasise the brand and credibility of a story benefits the audience as well as the publisher.”
It will be easy for publishers to embrace logos, as Facebook will allow multiple versions of images to be uploaded to a new Brand Asset Library, and the social media giant is eventually planning for them to show up alongside content in “all places” where users consume news. It also added that the new tool came to fruition following recommendations by the Facebook Journalism Project, which was set up earlier this year.
Anna Bateson, Chief Customer Officer at The Guardian, concluded: “Helping readers recognise the source of the journalism they’re reading is vital if we are to build and hold trust in the news ecosystem. We hope it is a positive sign for progress across a range of other critical issues the industry is discussing with them.”