Facebook launches a news section - and will pay publishers

FILE - This July 16, 2013, file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook is trying to coax “news deserts” into bloom with the expansion of a tool that provides people with local news and information, but says it still has a lot to learn. The social media giant said Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, it is expanding its “Today In” service to 6,000 cities and towns across the U.S., up from 400 previously. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Over the course of its 15 year history, Facebook has variously ignored news organizations while eating their advertising revenue, courted them for video projects it subsequently abandoned, and then largely cut their stories out of its newsfeeds .

Now it plans to pay them for news headlines -- reportedly millions of dollars in some cases.

Enter the "News Tab," a new section in the Facebook mobile app that will display headlines -- and nothing else -- from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, NBC, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Local stories from several of the largest U.S. cities will also make the grade; headlines from smaller towns are on their way, Facebook says.

Tapping on those headlines will take you directly to publisher websites or apps, if you have any installed.