In early April, the Facebook News section will begin to disappear for users in the US and Australia. Meta has announced that it is dropping the special tab found in the social network’s bookmarks section as part of its efforts to “align [its] investments to [its] products and services that people value most.” The company has already retired the News tab in the UK, France and Germany in early December 2023, explaining that it is focusing its resources on other things people want to see more of , such as short videos.

Meta’s new post says the number of people using the News tab in the US and Australia has dropped by 80 percent in the past year. News makes up less than three percent of what users see on Facebook, apparently, and is simply not a big part of their experience. “We know people don’t come to Facebook for news and political content — they come to connect with people and discover new opportunities, passions and interests,” the company wrote.

By pulling the News tab in Australia, the company will also stop paying publishers in the country for their content after their current deals end. A few years ago, Facebook blocked news links in the country in response to a then-proposed law that would require companies like Meta to pay media organizations for their content. The company unblocked news links just a few days later after it began making deals with Australian media organisations.

According to The age, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission estimates that Google and Meta have signed deals with dozens of outlets, including Guardian Australia and News Corp Australia, worth about $200 million a year. Meta is responsible for about a third, or $66 million, of that total, meaning its decision will have a huge impact on the country’s news business. And there appears to be no room for negotiation: the company made clear in its announcement that it will not enter into new commercial deals for traditional news content in any of the regions where it has already removed the News tab.

However, Meta has not blocked news links in the aforementioned countries, and Facebook users still have access to all that are posted on the social network. Publishers can also continue to post links to their stories on their official pages as usual.