Facebook will soon offer a select list of news publishers access to a “breaking” designation for their articles. The scarlet tag of distinction will appear below the post’s image, displaying the amount of time that has passed since the piece’s publication. The publishers with the breaking tag at their disposal will have the ability to apply the tag for anywhere between 15 minutes and six-hours, but can only use the breaking classification once every 24-hours.
Facebook’s implementation of the tag seeks to show its users the most significant, recent news, designed to add urgency to the platform’s non-chronological newsfeed organization. The tag, however, will not be weighted differently in Facebook’s algorithms — for now.
A spokesperson for Facebook has indicated that initial use of the breaking tag will function as a measure of whether or not breaking news stories should be algorithmically favored over other newsfeed posts. If use of the breaking tag is met with a positive reception, posts with the tag might later receive preferential temporal ordering.
While Facebook has not released the full list of media entities cleared to use the breaking tag, ABC News and Vox Media will be permitted to use the exclusive tag.