Facebook is reportedly working on a feature resembling Snapchat’s Discover for the social network’s News Feed. According to Business Insider, Facebook has “approached media and entertainment companies” in recent weeks for potential inclusion in the new feature, which would highlight curated content from partners directly in the News Feed — giving prominent exposure to stuff your friends might not be sharing or liking organically.
This upcoming News Feed section will be called “Collections” according to the report. It’s different from the fast-loading Instant Articles that Facebook launched in May with participating publishers (and has since expanded), which let users quickly skim through news stories inside Facebook’s mobile app and then get back to consuming all things News Feed and chatting on Messenger.
It’s also yet another big media-centric move on a hugely influential platform by a company whose CEO has repeated asserted is not itself a media business. Right. The curation of whatever appears in Collections could perhaps help combat Facebook’s bogus news problem. That’s an issue that Snapchat has managed to avoid with strict oversight of what its partners are delivering to users.
Snapchat will tell you that Discover, which showcases stories, photos, videos, and more from select media partners, has been a wild success. But cramming something down users’ throats has a way of achieving that outcome. The company has repeatedly tried to encourage adoption by giving Discover unavoidable placement in the app, which sees 10 billion video views and is used by 150 million people daily. It’s likely Facebook will aim to clone Discover’s mix of information and mindless entertainment — adding yet another chapter to its history of copying Snap. Still, borrowing the concept could be yet another way for Facebook to bring in revenue and keep the company’s investors giddy.