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News site created to oppose Google and Facebook fails

News site created to oppose Google and Facebook fails

Launched in January 2020 and owned by News Corp, Knewz.com has been shut down.

The goal behind the platform was to deliver comprehensive news that operates across the political spectrum.

Perhaps the most enticing feature of this site from a publisher’s perspective was the fact that Knewz functioned without Google and Facebook’s alleged ‘bias’.

However, there is no evidence for this claim of bias.

Operates in direct opposition to the Tech Giants

The premise of the platform was to showcase original news stories from outlets that Knewz believed were degraded in the search results on Google and Facebook.

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The platform prefers initial reporting rather than re-washing articles and shows stories from large and small businesses regardless of political stance. Knewz would also share data directly with publishers.

News Corp spokesman James Kennedy said:

“We are exploring this with the aim of recognizing and rewarding the origins of journalism and driving traffic and data to publishers – including subscription sites – so that their original work is respected … We want people to see a wide range of news and views, from local , niche and national sources without inflection or bias. ”

Instead of hosting the stories directly on the site, Knewz would link to the original article and provide additional visibility outside the search engine and social platform.

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The news articles were downloaded via human curation and scanning software.

Knewz was created in the midst of geopolitical unrest

Around the same time as the Knewz platform was launched, Australia tried to pass a law that would force Google and Facebook to pay publishers to display their news content.

Google eventually agreed to pay both Australia and France for Google News stories and has since launched the Google News Showcase, which pays publishers for the content they publish in the showcase.

Why Knewz was shut down

News Corp owns several successful publications, such as the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal in the United States, and The Sun and The Times in the United Kingdom, as well as many others internationally.

So instead of so much success elsewhere, what led to Knewz being shut down?

According to the closing note on the website, Knewz was not profitable enough to remain in operation.

The note also recommends and links to other News Corp sites, and although the platform was short-lived, only 18 months, News Corp may still be able to earn on the site in the near future.

Perhaps the platform has served its purpose now that Google is offering publishers remuneration for their content. While it was hoping to become a direct competitor to the tech giant, it has certainly failed. Just last month, Google reported that millions of users interact with their web stories every day.

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This is not the first time a platform has been built with a technical giant that at least plays a small role in its mission goal.

Earlier this year, the Search Engine Journal reported on a new ad-free search engine built by former Google employees.

Just as Google and Facebook will always have competition, the question is, when will something be launched that will make tech giants shake their boots, and what will it look like?

Sources: Bloomberg, The Verge.

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