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Forbes: Facebook is getting into the news business

Forbes is reporting that Facebook is working with a handful of major news organisations to create Facebook editions of their sites. Google is also working on similar plans, Jeff Bercovici reports.

The idea is just one of the ways Facebook is trying to encourage users to spend time within its virtual walls to position itself against the growing popularity of new social network Google+.

One answer it has come up with: asking a select number of news outlets to produce “Facebook editions” — basically, app versions of themselves that can be read and consumed right there on Facebook.

About a dozen news outlets are currently participating, including CNN, the Washington Post and the Daily, according to sources familiar with the project. The first Facebook editions are expected to arrive later this year, perhaps in September.

The New York Times was also asked to participate, according to one source, but opted to hold back for now, apparently because of reservations over how having a Facebook edition might fit into its new paywall strategy. (It’s for similar reasons that the Times isn’t even giving all of its content to the digital news aggregation service Ongo even though it’s a financial partner in the startup.)

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