2-8-18 12:36 PM EST | Email Article
By Paul Kiernan 

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's largest newspaper said Thursday it has stopped posting content to Facebook after the social-media website overhauled to its news feed last month to prioritize personal interactions over journalism and some other types of content.

Folha de S. Paulo, a São Paulo daily with 285,000 print and online subscribers, said the decision came as a result of "internal discussions about the best ways to get its content to readers." While Facebook users will still be able to share Folha stories, the newspaper said it would no longer publish content on its Facebook page, which has 5.76 million followers.

The decision is among the most visible responses yet by a traditional publisher to the newsfeed shake-up in one of Facebook's most important countries, where 122 million users log into the website a month.

The newspaper said it realized Facebook's waning importance as a source of online readership even before the social-media platform changed its algorithms in January to prioritize users' posts, photos and videos. Facebook's share of referrals to Folha's website fell to 24% in December from 39% in January of last year, reflecting a broader trend of declining engagement with Brazilian newspapers via the social-media site, Folha said.

Traffic to Folha's website from search engines, on the other hand, has risen, the newspaper said.

Folha's move was the latest sign of tension between newspapers and internet companies like Google and Facebook, which are drawing advertising revenue that once flowed to media firms.

In a statement, Folha accused Facebook of attempting to "co-opt" media companies into its Instant Articles program, in which publishers transfer content to the social network for free in exchange for speedier page loading and access to advertising revenue. The newspaper also highlighted concerns that Facebook's newsfeed changes would "reinforce users' tendency to increasingly consume content for which they have an affinity, creating bubbles of opinions and convictions, and propagating 'fake news.'"

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Write to Paul Kiernan at paul.kiernan@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 08, 2018 12:36 ET (17:36 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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