Perhaps because Yahoo News has always been an electronic news outlet, it seems to have jumped wholeheartedly into the concept of “social news” on Facebook. On the Yahoo News website, readers are given an option to log in to the page through Facebook. If you choose this option, you’ll be directed to a Facebook pop-up window and prompted to authorize Yahoo News to access your Facebook account. Once you’ve given Yahoo News the appropriate permission, you’ll see other Facebook friends who have also logged in to the Yahoo News website.
The idea is that you can see what your Facebook friends are reading and you can easily post comments and share links to stories on your Facebook News Feed. If you find this type of activity to be a little too public for your taste, Yahoo News allows you to delete specific activities you’ve logged, or turn off the social layer and temporarily disconnect Yahoo News from Facebook. In fact, if you change your mind about receiving your news in this manner, Yahoo News makes it very easy for you to remove the social browser completely by clicking on the “Remove this experience” option on its home page.
Based on the number of times Yahoo news stories tend to appear on a typical Facebook member’s News Feed, Yahoo is clearly capitalizing on the concept of social news to deliver its content to a social media savvy audience.
2. The Washington Post
The Washington Post has taken Facebook news delivery one step further. By installing the Washington Post Social Reader app, news from WaPo and its content partners is delivered to you from within Facebook — you never need to leave the site to get your news.
The app displays headlines and content in the way you’d expect from an electronic newspaper, but it also provides a list of activities from your Facebook friends who have also installed the application. From a sidebar on the left of the application you can share stories, comments, and see a list of all the stories you’ve read.
The app claims that “the more you use it, the better it gets,” which presumably means that it accesses your Likes, friends, and other activities on Facebook to bring you the news that it determines to be most relevant to you.
3. The Wall Street Journal
Like The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal also has its very own Facebook social news app — “WSJ Social.” Once installed and given appropriate access to your Facebook account, the WSJ Social app displays news stories and photographs in a very easy to scan grid. Clicking on any of the headlines opens the compete story — and like WaPo, you never have to leave Facebook to read your favorite stories.
Unlike WaPo, WSJ Social does not appear to have media content partners; all of the content is from the Wall Street Journal itself. The WSJ Social app also sets itself apart from the competition by offering readers the ability to become “editors.” Facebook members who are also using the app can follow stories edited by you or any of their friends. Accessing content from the Wall street Journal in this manner allows you to follow the news that your friends have deemed to be important, interesting or newsworthy. In other words, everyone can become a curator of information to streamline the consumption of news for people in their network.
While there are many news organizations with Facebook Pages and more still that allow you to share stories to your Facebook News Feed, the three news organizations mentioned here stand out as successful innovators in the emerging field of social news. Use these organizations for inspiration on how to apply a powerful social layer to your business activities on Facebook.