On April 5, Facebook launched "Journalists on Facebook" Page in an attempt to capitalize on the growing trend of news becoming more and more social.In Facebook's words, "The JOF Page is to serve as an ongoing resource for the growing number of reporters using FB to find sources, interact with readers and advance stories."
As news becomes more social as a result of friends sharing with friends,
the intent of this Page will be to provide journalists with best
practices for integrating the latest FB products into their content, with the added benefit of connecting with the Facebook audience of more than 500
As of this post, there were close to 10,000 users who LIKED the page,
including publishing and news heavyweights the likes of Arianna Huffington,
Piers Morgan, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer.
Additionally, Facebook will be conducting "Facebook Journalism Meetups" throughout the world with hands-on workshops pertaining to how to utilize the social network as a reporting tool, and engage in in an open dialogue with the journalism community. Their first scheduled Meet-up will be held on April 27th at FB's Palo Alto, CA Headquarter office, just a week after President Obama's conducts his first "town hall" meeting at the same location.
News outlets like NPR have already embraced Facebook in a big way, giving testimony as to how important Facebook is for today's journalists and social media enthusiasts. NPR's Facebook page which was originally created by a UK fan - is one of the most popular media outlets on Facebook with over 1.6 million users.
Since Twitter and more recently Quora entered the real-time news space, Facebook realized that their network could capitalize to a greater extent because their user base was so much larger than any other. However, while FB is arguably "influential" notes Molly McHugh from Digital Trends, it is somewhat low-brow in the quality of content that is currently surfacing. While, news from one's mother or girlfriend is "not world events," Facebook has "one thing Twitter and Quora definitely don't (namely) more than 500 million active users who spend 700 billion minutes on the site a month."
Looking forward, my prediction is that before year's end, there could conceivably be a Facebook Media News outlet that will include dedicated content on various topics curated semantically. As Web 2.0 slowly transitions into its next iteration, namely the Semantic Web or Web 3.0, this is an inevitable evolutionary step. In fact, Facebook is almost a little late to this party as LinkedIn has already launched their "news aggregation" functionality, called LinkedIn Today - and Paper.li is doing something similar in converting tweet updates into real-time news (for more on this topic, see my previous post titled, "Social Media to Semantic Web, LinkedIn Caffeinates NYC & San Fran").
Next stop...it's the "Wisdom of Machines" replacing "Wisdom of Crowds."