facebook iconAfter Google launched its own social networking website Google+, it was just a matter of time before Facebook would make its move. While Google+ isn’t a fair competitor at the moment, since it only has 20 million users, compared to the impressive 750 million Facebook users, the former has managed to reach that number in no time and the figures are growing day by day.

If Facebook wants to hold on to its big crowd, they should keep adding new features and services to its site. And apparently, it is exactly what the company is doing: with the Facebook-Skype partnership, Facebook for Business and now with a whole new plan.

A Battle of Features between Facebook and Google

It seems that the social networking giant is planning to build an online news service to rival Google News and Yahoo News, or at least this is what an interesting article on published Harvard University’s Nieman Journalist Lab points.

The article was published by Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik, who talks about new ways of telling stories, highlighting a future five angle story format: Context, Social, Personalization, Mobile and Participation.

The article also hints at future Facebook plans, and at what users might expect in terms of news production, distribution and consumption.

“The decisions we make now — of design and of content creation — will inform the evolution of the story itself. So it’s worth stepping back and wondering: How can we hack today’s story into something that reflects the needs of today’s news consumers and publishers, integrates the vast amounts of content and data being created online, and generally leverages the opportunities the web has created?”

And he further answers to that question, pointing to the five crucial elements of online storytelling, and developing each of them: Context, Social, Personalization, Mobile and Participation.

Vadim’s article might be planning an online news service that would encourage all its 750 million users to bring their contribution in order to enrich it. However, Facebook already runs a service called “sponsored stories”, based on a similar principle.

Subsequently to the published article, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager also responded to readers’ comments. One of Vadim’s most interesting replies was :

“If content is king, then distribution is queen. If it’s not being distributed, then who is being informed?”