In an effort to boost the use of Facebook in newsrooms, Journalists on Facebook was unveiled last Thursday, launched as a resource to connect journalists with one another and with the social network’s modest audience of +500 million. In a “note,” Facebook’s Director of Media Partnerships Justin Osofsky discusses the motivation behind the new page, explaining that it was designed to provide journalists with “best practices” for integrating Facebook products, as well as to help them utilize Facebook in locating sources, interacting with readers and advancing stories.
“Over the past year,” writes Osofsky, “we’ve worked with media organizations to help make their content more social and empower readers to experience news through their friends. Since we first launched these initiatives at the beginning of 2010, the average media organization has seen a greater than 300% increase in referral traffic from Facebook.”
Facebook’s “like” buttons (introduced only a year ago) now magically appear near the end of what seems like everything on the Web (regardless of whether or not one could actually be asked to form an opinion on the item in question). Along with the lesser-utilized “recommend” button, both functions have proven highly successful in allowing people to share content with others. The company credits these buttons with the massive increase in referrals to news sites.
Aside from the new page, a Facebook Journalism Meetup program is in the works, arranging events and workshops on how to incorporate Facebook in newsgathering. The first FB soirée is scheduled for April 27 at the headquarters in Palo Alto, California.