We recently discussed how social media complements the news industry, and how a study has even found news to be a top priority of Twitter users. Facebook wants to let users know that it can also be used to keep track of news, when you set up a news list.
This isn't so much a new feature, as it is a way to use the social network that you may or may not have thought of. Basically, Facebook is encouraging users to set up a list for news, as if they were setting up a list of co-workers, or a list of friends from high school.
"You can even create a 'News' list to filter news-oriented Pages into one view on your News Feed," says Facebook's Malorie Lucich. "Simply add relevant Pages to the list, just as you would with a friends list. The next time you sign on to Facebook, you can click the 'News' filter to see stories from all of the news outlets of which you've become a fan."
"In addition to reading news on Facebook, you can share news with your friends on external sites with Facebook Connect," says Lurich. "Outlets like The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, USA Today and countless blogs have become more social by adding Facebook Connect to their websites and iPhone applications. You can sign in with your Facebook login to see what articles your friends are reading and comment on articles with your authentic identity."
The fact of that matter is that a lot of people around the world are spending a great deal of their online time (which is growing itself) on Facebook. Far more people use Facebook than use Twitter. Facebook has the reputation of being where your real friends are, but most news outlets have Facebook pages at this point, which can be followed just easily as Twitter accounts. Facebook seems to simply be reminding people that this is one use of Twitter that they can get from the larger social network as well.