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Meta's Facebook News tab closes in US and Australia

Meta's Facebook News tab closes in US and Australia

Meta has shuttered News tab on Facebook in the US and Australia.

The feature, which was first introduced in 2019, had already shut down in European countries at the end of last year.

It will still take a few days to fully close down.

It comes after the social media giant was criticised by the Australian government and media outlets for stopping payments to publishers for news content.

The social media giant explained that only 3 per cent of Facebook users were accessing news on the site.

In a blog post, company announced: "People will still be able to view links to news articles on Facebook. News publishers will continue to have access to their Facebook accounts and Pages, where they can post links to their stories and direct people to their websites, in the same way any other individual or organization can."

Meanwhile, Meta is testing a feature that will enable Threads users to see what is trending in the US.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg - who also runs Instagram and WhatsApp under the parent company - announced the new feature on his own account on the app, where he revealed the firm plans to extend trending topics to further countries once they get it up and running.

He wrote: "Rolling out a small test of today's top topics on Threads in the US. We'll roll it out in more countries and languages once we get it tuned up..."

Users will be able to see the “timely topics that others are discussing” via search and nestled between posts on the For You feed.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said it will be “determined by our AI systems based on what people are engaging with right now on Threads."

Despite vowing to no longer suggest political content, a Meta spokesperson told Engadget: “We will only remove political topics if they violate our Community Guidelines or other applicable integrity policies.”

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