Facebook launches news service in UK, first outside US
Previously available only in the US, the Facebook News feature provides news content by paying UK publishers to display their articles, with users able to personalise stories, topics and sources. Facebook, which has over 50 million users in the UK, will also have a team of its own journalists selecting stories that appear on the news tab.
In the UK, the company is partnering with the likes of The Economist and The Guardian. Alongside the launch, it announced it was further partnering with Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group.
A boon for newsrooms?
Facebook framed the feature as an aid to the ailing journalism sector, with from Jesper Doub, Director News Partnerships, Europe, saying: “We’ve been partnering with news organisations for many years and our goal has always been to work out the best ways we can support the industry in building sustainable business models. This product is a result of those conversations. As we invest more in news and pay publishers for more content in more countries, we will work with them to support the long term viability of newsrooms.”
The future of news
“Our aim is to build on our efforts to sustain great national and local journalism and create more value for publishers,” continued Doub. “We’ll continue to learn, listen and improve Facebook News as it rolls out across the UK and into other markets, including France and Germany, where we are in active negotiations with partners.”
Microsoft Power BI: Enabling data culture through innovation
Businesses using Microsoft’s cloud services may be familiar with Power BI – a business analytics service that aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with a simple experience helping end users create their own reports and dashboards. Power BI is part of the Power Platform which is a set of low-code tools consisting of business intelligence, app development, bot development and process automation applications. In a world where everything is constantly changing, the Power Platform enables subject matter experts to keep up with business needs.
Today, data comes not just from transactional systems of record, but from the real world – whether it is the devices people use, to everyday human interaction. Power BI’s mission is to make access to data paramount to every business operation through its solutions and empowers individuals, teams and organizations to drive a data culture. This sentiment is further established by Arun Ulagarathchagan, Corporate Vice President of the Power BI team, adding “Our vision here in the Power BI team is to help you drive a data culture where everyone can make every decision with data.” So what can organisations expect to see next in the pipeline? Microsoft is bringing performance management to Power BI for the first time. Organisations strive to achieve certain goals, and today, goals are largely data-driven. Power BI helps make those goals more accessible and personalized in existing workflows. This means that since many teams’ data, analytics and business logic is already reported in Power BI, they can now instantly connect it to their personal/department goals. It is also worth noting that Goals is natively integrated into the Microsoft Teams experience. The goals algorithm is also AI powered, so organisations can better understand how they’re doing and where are the opportunities for improvement. Finally, Microsoft is working towards integrating it with Power Automate, so organisations can define business processes that get automatically triggered as the goals change status. Goals will soon be available as a mobile experience too, so teams can stay up to date and take action in real-time. On that note, another major announcement from Microsoft features real-time analytics. Today, data is captured from everywhere and synthesizing it in real-time allows for maximum impact. Power BI has been a pioneer in real time analytics from the start with a simple vision – that the distinctions between batch, real time, and streaming data today will disappear over time. Power BI will launch Streaming Data Flows soon, allowing every business a simple low-code way to work with real-time data.
Amir Netz, CTO Power BI concludes “Our vision is to empower everyone in the world with data, and not just the people sitting in offices, but people who are working in the real world, people who are moving things, creating things, producing things with their hands. And for this, we have to think again about how we deliver data to help them make better decision