With frictionless sharing becoming the focus for Facebook's new open graph feature, there's been a lot of talk about what developments will emerge from this. Apps have been the major talking point over the past week but another new development could see Facebook trying to play Google news at its own game.
Technology site Fusible.com discovered that the social networking site has purchased a number of 'Facebook Newsroom' domain names recently. Three domain names were registered by the company: facebook-newsroom.com, facebook-newsroom.net, and facebook-newsroom.org.
While it hasn't been officially confirmed, Fusible say that the names were registered under the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor and the web addresses re-direct users to the Facebook Timeline page
While it's unclear what Facebook will do with its latest domains but the name would hint towards a plan to launch a social news website, potentially a cross between Google News which takes news articles from numerous different media sites and blogs, and Reddit, where users would submit articles and links that they find interesting. While the term 'newsroom' would suggest that this venture would veer towards publishing more serious stories, sharing is a massive part of Facebook and the input of users will perhaps be factored into the equation.
It's difficult to say whether this will end up amounting to anything but for Facebook to move towards offering news sources isn't an entirely surprising one. The site has allowed users to read articles for sites like The Washington Post and The Guardian from their site in recent months and the potential for these different media apps to be amalgamated and put into the one main site is a possibility.
The real question is how it will fare against other news aggregate sites such as Google News. While Google has a realm of news and pages to gather information from, Facebook could end up being reliant on its users to provide the bulk of its content and those few media outlets who are using social reader. That said, with the popularity of the social readers apps beginning to rise, Facebook may be able to entice more media outlets to use their service and increase their content. However, only Facebook know the reason why they purchased these domain names and until they reveal the reason why, we'll be left to speculate why.
- Image originally from Fusible.com (click on image for link)