NewsThe Spin Cycle

Facebook To Pay $1 Billion To News Industry

By March 5, 2021 August 1st, 2021 No Comments

Facebook – following Google’s lead – recently announced it plans to invest $1 billion to “support the news industry” over the next three years.

The social networking giant, which has been tussling with Australia over a law that would make social platforms pay news organizations, said it has invested $600 million since 2018 in news.

Google said last October it would pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years.

News outlets want Google and Facebook to pay for the news they feature on their platforms. Governments in Australia and Europe are increasingly embracing this move. The two tech behemoths siphon the majority of U.S. digital ad dollars, hurting publishers across the nation.

Facebook said  it would lift a ban on news links in Australia after the government agreed to tweak proposed legislation that would help publishers negotiate payments with Facebook and Google.

Facebook was criticized for its ban, which also temporarily cut access to government pandemic, public health and emergency services on the social networking site. The changes allow Facebook to choose which publishers it will support and indicated that it will now start striking such deals in Australia.

Google had already been signing content licensing deals with Australian media companies and says that it has arrangements with more than 50 publishers in the country and more than 500 globally.

There may be more such regulation in other countries. Microsoft is working with European publishers to push big tech platforms to pay for news. European Union countries are working on adopting copyright rules that allow news companies and publishers to negotiate payments.

Twitter Reveals Top Trends in Recent Years

Twitter analyzed billions of tweets over the past two years and has released a new report – The Conversation: Twitter Trends– diving into six major themes to help people understand evolving cultural trends on its platform.

The social network said in the introduction to its report that there is a 73% correlation between cultural relevance and revenue, according to a Kantar study it commissioned, adding, “People come to Twitter to talk about the things that matter to them. Entertainment, news, sports, fashion—it’s all here. And by analyzing these honest conversations, we can get greater perspective on the evolving cultural trends and attitudes shaping our future. It’s a big job. Crunching billions of tweets over two years is not for the faint of heart. But read on and we think you’ll agree, it was worth it.”

Here are highlights for the six key trends:


From December 2018 through December 2020, Twitter saw conversations about mental health rise 30%, with mentions of mental health up 74% and conversations on grief soaring by 250%.

Paths to wellness that were talked about on the social network included health and fitness (up 25%), sleep as self-care (43%) and psychedelics (61%).

The pandemic drove a 68% jump in conversation about community care, with mentions of equal right to health campaigns up 115% and talk about family lineage and ancestry up 30%.

Twitter’s takeaways for how brands can act on well-being were:

  • Show up by listening first to identify what’s ownable for your brand. Lend your voice during relevant moments.
  • People believe brands have a role to play: Home in on the practical ways you can help people improve their daily lives.
  • Tap into allies or specific communities to show how your brand offers a value exchange with new products, offerings or initiatives. Partner with influential creator voices to bring an authentic, fresh perspective to life.
Creator Culture

Conversation about career creators was up 32% on Twitter in 2020 compared with 2019, while mentions of side hustle soared 121% and talk about distribution platforms shot up 66%.

Over the two-year period measured by the social network, talk about doing what makes you feel good rose 22%, and the gains were more significant for new creative hobbies (64%) and nostalgic crafts (66%).

From 2019 through 2020, conversation about shared entertainment experiences increased 24%, also driven by Covid-19, and the gains were especially dramatic in talk about virtual experiences (135%) and mentions of participatory content platforms (112%).

Everyday Wonder

Twitter saw a 43% bump in conversations about spirituality in 2020 versus the previous year, while talk about spiritual energy was up 48% and discussions on tarot and psychics soared 109%.

Not surprisingly, people want to escape this world and head for fantasy realms. Talk about escapism increased 52% from December 2018 through December 2020, while discussion of fantasy in relation to television was up 60% and science-fiction talk rose 41%.

From other realms to other planets, conversation about “what’s out there” was up 23% year-over-year in 2020, while discussion about living in space soared 161% and talk about astronomy and the stars was up 41%.

Twitter’s takeaways:

  • Understand your audience’s passion in this space. From cosmos and fantasy to positive search for meaning, find a sweet spot for your brand to be relevant in new ways.
  • Dial up the ways that your new offering or product can bring small moments of joy and positivity in people’s daily lives.
  • Explore how you can bring real-life experiences to life on Twitter in meaningful ways. For example: hosting a question-and-answer session with an expert, or a live event bringing learning and amazement to your audience.
One Planet

Discussion about sustainability in general inched up 10% during the two-year period examined by the social network, but talk about reusables soared 87%, while conversations about plant-based food and packaging saw a 51% bump.

Twitter users turned their eyes to corporations, as talk about holding them accountable was up 53% over the past year, while discussion about buying local shot up 120% and conversations about irresponsible packing rose 29%.

Turning from artificial to natural, talk about nature in general was up 22% year-over-year in 2020, with exploring (127%) and biodiversity (61%) seeing strong spikes.

Tech Life

Discussion about improving society through technology was up 17% in 2020 compared with 2019, and the spikes were far more dramatic for conversations about tech and positive social impact (94%) and tech in healthcare (275%).

There were naysayers, as well, with talk about the implications of technology up 36& year-over-year in 2020, while there was a 35% uptick in discussion about digital crime and a 219% surge in conversations about tech bias.

Twitter’s takeaways:

  • Assess where your brand sits in the relationship people have with tech—both good and bad.
  • Help people envision and adapt to the future by showing how your new products or services make lives easier with a human-centric focus.
  •  Keep in mind the importance of security and safety. Balance your messaging with the right degree of reassurance that their data will be protected and used for good.
My Identity

Discussions about fandom shot up 30% in the two-year period analyzed by the social network, with talk about fan art increasing 121% and LARPing (live-action role-playing games) seeing a 75% jump.

The events of the past year, in particular, spurred a 115% year-over-year climb in discussions about equality in 2020, while talk about personal representation rose 32% and conversation about Black rights skyrocketed 273%.

The same events helped push conversations about ethics up 33% on the social network from December 2018 through December 2020, while talk about human civil rights soared by 222% and economic inequality discussions were up 32%.

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