Facebook, by its own account, is not a media company. Which is kind of funny, given how important the platform has become to providing people with information. Today, the social media company announced that it was partnering with ABC News for special US Election Day coverage – a curious move for a company that’s so emphatically “not a media company”.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Spain earlier this year (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
In a press release from ABC News, the company touts its curated Facebook Feed that will “offer live streams from anchors and correspondents at key polling locations and candidate election parties around the country”. The release goes on to explain that the Facebook feed will include special commentary from anchors and will also include comments submitted by users, giving the proceedings a more interactive feel.
Starting at 10:00AM AEDT on November 9 (7:00PM ET on Election Day in the US), ABC correspondents will even report on polling results from something called the “Times Square Crossroads”, which is apparently Facebook’s live interactive booth in Times Square.
This isn’t that new, of course. Facebook was partnering with media companies for coverage during the debates and primaries as well. But it reminds us that no matter how many times Facebook says it’s not a media company, it most certainly is.
“As we move further into the election cycle, there continues to be a voracious appetite for live content and we know many users turn to Facebook to engage and participate in the conversation,” Colby Smith, Vice President of Digital at ABC News said in a statement.
The Director of News and Global Media Partnerships at Facebook, Andy Mitchell, touted the ability of the social media company to bring coverage to users “in real-time on the ground”.
“With their robust Facebook Live coverage plans and deep bench of political journalists, ABC News will help facilitate an open dialogue among voters and create an engaging and immersive experience from each debate,” Mitchell said in a statement.
But just remember, Facebook is not a media company.