HuffPost launches social news with FB Connect

Ronny Kerr · August 17, 2009 · Short URL:

Arianna Huffington says the future of news will be social

In a guest post today on the Facebook Blog, Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, expounded on her optimistic views of the future of journalism. Contrary to the apocalyptic pessimism we see everyday in the decrying of the death of journalism, Huffington’s forecast for news looks sunny and fruitful.

“The days of publishing pooh-bahs dictating to us what’s important and what’s not are over,” declares Huffington. “We now can get the news we want, when we want it, and where, we want it.”

Social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, and Delicious have been empowering users in this way for years, allowing people to democratically push the most important stories, to them, to the front page.

Twitter takes on this concept from a different angle, featuring a sidebar with the latest and most popular “trends,” which users actually influence by the very words they use in their posts. Searching any words or phrases, like “HuffPost,” brings up all the latest tweets, which include links to different sources alongside the posting user’s opinion.

Huffington doesn’t think the evolution of news has stopped, though. She goes on to describe how social sites will continue to morph the way news works, saying “it will become even more community-powered.” In contrast to the traditional relationship, one writer—one story, Huffington thinks “stories will be collaboratively produced by editors and the community, and conversations, opinion, and reader reactions will be seamlessly integrated into the news experience.”

It’s not all just talk, either.

The blog post, in addition to denying anything close to the death of news, also serves as a platform for Huffington to announce the launch of HuffPost Social News, powered by Facebook Connect.

HuffPost Social News

The site is essentially a host for streaming Facebook social news, providing an updated list of stories users are posting to share with one another along with the comments left on the shared stories. Pulling away from the idea that news stories are read by just one person at a time, HuffPost Social News implements a service that aims to create an online hub for conversing about news, with an emphasis on the personal (thus, the partnership with Facebook).

After Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed and the beta testing of a Twitter-like Facebook Lite service, this latest partnership with the Huffington Post shows us once again aggressive action on Facebook’s part towards total permeation through users’ online social activity.

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