ABC News coming to Facebook Messenger


ABC News is coming to Facebook Messenger as the broadcaster implements new changes for multi-platform audiences.

From Monday, ABC News has “a new way for Australians to stay across the news,” with the launch of a dedicated news service using Chatfuel bots on Facebook Messenger.

ABC News on Facebook Messenger will send users a message each morning with the latest news summary and upcoming news events. Our editors will provide a fast guide to what’s making the news from the very start of the day,” managing director Michelle Guthrie told the ‘New News Conference at the Wheeler Centre.

“Time-pressed users have the choice of simply skimming news summaries, or can dive deeper and read the whole story if they wish.

“Users can message the service whenever they want to find out the news they want to know, and opt-in to receive breaking news alerts. You can also choose topics you want to focus on: such as sport, business and the US election.

“This interactivity and personalisation are key features of the service.”

She also flagged new initiatives across ABC platforms to reflect the changing consumption trends of audiences.

“These changes, to be rolled out between now and early next year, will help ensure ABC News content is always recognisable and distinct, regardless of the platform,” Guthrie explained.

“This modernised ABC News look will be consistent across all platforms and channels – television, radio, digital and social media – making it easier for audiences to identify trusted, distinctive ABC News no matter where they are.”

Yesterday ABC also announced Stan Grant would become ABC Editor, of a newly-established Indigenous News Coverage of the National Indigenous Affairs Coverage Team.

“Stan’s work and the work of the team around him will be supported by an absolute commitment by the ABC to its Indigenous coverage.

“This will include providing cultural awareness training for our staff and professional development plans for our Indigenous staff across our newsrooms and platforms.

“We want an ongoing conversation with our staff and our audiences about our coverage of Indigenous Australia, what we do well and what we can do better.

“I believe this is a very important initiative the ABC is embarking on and I wish our staff and teams who are involved the very best.”

More broadly, Guthrie remains committed to increasing diversity within the ABC both on and off screen.

ABC News is also increasingly aiming to improve the breadth of its staff and on-air talent – we want the faces you see and the voices you hear reporting and discussing news of the day to be as diverse as our audience,” she continued.

“The goal for the ABC – and for ABC News – is to look and sound like Australia. It is clear we need to do much more to accurately reflect our community.

“Our teams across all ABC divisions are actively addressing diversity, as we are required to do by the Commonwealth.

“The ABC Equity and Diversity Plan 2016-18 aims to develop an equal employment opportunity program designed to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunity for women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from a non-English speaking background and people with disabilities.”


You can see a sample video of Facebook Messenger here:


  1. I understand Chatbot for businesses but for news it doesn’t seem much different from inputting into a search engine. At least a search engine won’t drain my battery as much as Facebook app would.

  2. Wow, the armchair experts really came out in force for this one, didn’t they?

    Just because -you- only get your news through television and radio doesn’t mean ABC should stop there. Were people this upset when our national broadcaster started running a website? This is just a natural evolution that is trying to keep up with technology trends. Facebook is a beast that is used by millions of Australians…

    Except the handful of technophobes commenting here. Young people and their fancy smartphones – right?

  3. The Inspector

    Michelle Guthrie seems to forget that many of us rely on ‘old fashioned’ radio and TV. Not everyone has unlimited data on their device.

    If it ain’t broke…………….

      • barrington bumbaclaart

        …but budgets are being diverted away from the traditional, linear mediums to allow for these new methods to be implemented. There’s finite resources at the ABC and money has to be found to set up and make these new things happen. Ask any programme maker in the ABC News department and they will agree, they are getting less while digital gets more. So yes, they are taking away.

        • It’s also in the Charter to bring more Australian stories to more Australians more of the time. We keep hearing younger Australians are moving away from linear. I guess it’s a juggling act for budgets.

  4. “Why not just turn off the Radio and TV transmitters off now?” – How then would I listen whilst driving, watch and listen in times of fire/flood emergencies, or watch anything thanks to our copper wire ADSL buffering low-definition Internet ‘service’ in outer-Sydney?

  5. How much is the ABC paying Facebook????? Why not just turn off the Radio and TV transmitters off now?
    Wish they would automate the publishing of their AM/World Today/PM podcasts? Somedays, the full program podcasts do not appear until the next day, if at all.

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