Facebook seems to be at it again, cloning yet another Snapchat feature in the hopes of retaining users on its platform and keeping publishers happy. This time round, it appears to be borrowing elements of the latter’s Discover section.
Facebook’s rumored Collections tool displays listicles, videos, news, and other content submitted by curated media partners, just like Discover. As per two people in the know and internal documentation obtained by Business Insider, it’ll appear directly in the News Feed.
This marks a significant break from Facebook’s current strategy of requiring publishers to garner likes or pay for exposure in order for their content to be visible in News Feed. The move also gives them far greater access to the company’s 1.8 billion users.
Snapchat by comparison has around 150 million users who apparently see its Discover section every day. Facebook is supposedly hard at work right now approaching media and entertainment outlets to create content for Collections. There’s no definitive timeline given for the rollout of the feature as yet.
Another unknown factor comes in the form of advertising since Collections may or may not carry ads. The extent to which Facebook will share data about readers with its partners hasn’t been pinned down either. The social networking behemoth has been struggling with a fake news epidemic on its site for a while now.
If the report is accurate, Collections will represent Facebook’s latest effort towards direct news curation. Its Trending Topics area came under some heavy criticism earlier this year for suppressing conservative news. This backlash prompted it to fire its curation staff, only to give rise to false news.