Overview:

Since 2017 Facebook has been working on ways for news publishers to flag themselves for more consideration by the platform, and have since rolled out the News Page Index.

It used to be that in the world of Facebook, a page was a page was a page. “News” pages, ie. the Facebook pages of journalistic enterprises, weren’t afforded any more courtesy than the local coffee shop. Even as Facebook began to build out algorithmic indicators of local news, the platform’s definition of news publisher included anyone providing information locally: the newspaper, the local elected official or police department’s page, or… that coffee shop, assuming it was sharing locally-relevant information.

Eventually, Facebook began to consider the idea of news pages as something that should be treated a little differently than a coffee shop. It may or may not have had to do with the platform increasingly being identified as the world’s preeminent distributor of mis- and disinformation. (Spoiler: it was totally that.)

Facebook hasn’t exactly solved the problem, but since 2017 they’ve been working on ways for news publishers to flag themselves for more consideration by the platform, and have since rolled out the News Page Index.

It’s not a panacea. Facebook has had a list of news publisher pages for a few years; news publishers still get no additional visibility or consideration in the algorithm, and, lo and behold, misinformation still flourishes on the platform.

So why should you do it? Because Facebook’s a tool, and it’s one small step towards making it work better for your business. Those included in the News Publisher Index are occasionally tapped for relevant product rollouts, such as the “Breaking News” feature. The platform also continues to experiment with displaying trust indicators: sharing information about a publisher’s editorial policies, for example. And who knows: maybe tomorrow, Facebook will actually consider prioritizing legitimate news on the platform?

You can learn how to get registered here. It’s an annoying process, but the two other requirements — domain verification and business verification — come with their own perks.