Social media giant Facebook is looking to tap into its significant role in modern journalism with the recent launch of its online training platform, Blueprint.
The website features free online courses that focus on teaching journalists how to maximize the use of Facebook’s various products, such as 360-degree video, Facebook Live, and Instant Articles.
According to Aine Kerr, Facebook’s manager of journalism partnerships, the platform will offer several modules covering the “three core pillars of the news cycle: discovering content, creating stories, and building an audience”, with topics such as “How Journalists Can Best Utilize Facebook and Instagram” and “Immersive Storytelling with 360 Video and Photos”.
Image via Facebook
“We’re committed to providing high quality and timely education and training opportunities for journalists. With that in mind, these courses will be regularly updated based on the feedback we receive from journalists and to reflect new products, features, updates, case studies, and learnings,” she wrote in a blog post.
Depending on how familiar they are with Facebook, learners can choose which of the three main pillars they would like to learn more about. The modules currently available on the site take around 15 minutes to complete.
In conjunction with the platform’s soft launch, Facebook has also organized a series of webinars tailored to journalists who are both old and new to social media.
— Aine Kerr (@AineKerr) October 25, 2016
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Kerr added: “Our hope is that this will be very informative for newsrooms but equally it will be very much a collaborative, inspiring experience for journalists to learn from how other journalists have been doing it in their newsrooms according to their particular beats and specialisms.”
Through the e-learning platform, she explained that Facebook aimed to “inspire tens of thousands of other journalists”.
In the coming months, Facebook also plans to make its courses available in over eight other languages to widen the program’s reach.
Over the past decade, the website has become a major player in the media industry, with over 40 percent of U.S. adults saying that Facebook is their main source of news, according to a 2016 survey by Pew.
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