Madam Chair and honourable members, my name is Kevin Chan, and I am the head of public policy for Facebook Canada.
I am joined here today by my colleague Marc Dinsdale, Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook Canada.
Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. We are honoured by the fact that 22 million Canadians use our service. I want to take advantage of our being here today, on Parliament Hill, to say that we are proud to see to what extent our platform has enabled Canadian political parties to create connections with Canadians from across the country. As you can see, we are proud and honoured to work with all the political parties.
Canadians engage on Facebook primarily because they wish to connect with friends and family and to share personal stories and information with each other in the form of messages, photos, and videos. Facebook was not originally conceived for news content, but it is certainly true that people are now regularly using the platform to share news articles and videos. This has significantly increased the potential audience size for news at the local, national, and international levels.
While we are, first and foremost, a technology company that has built a platform for people to connect with each other, Facebook takes very seriously its responsibility in helping people gather information about what is going on in the world around them. I want to note some of our engagement in Canada on this important issue. We are pleased to participate in the Public Policy Forum's study on news and democracy. Earlier this fall, we worked with the forum to organize a round table focusing on Facebook's products for news publishers, and we were delighted to have representation from Mr. O'Regan, Madam Fry's office, and the Prime Minister's Office.
We are also honoured that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is using Facebook Live as a key platform to engage and consult with Canadians in her cultural consultations.
I would like to walk the committee through how Canadians connect with each other and share information on Facebook. At the heart of this process is Facebook's newsfeed. The newsfeed is a feed-based technology developed with the goal of showing each individual person the stories that matter to them the most. With nearly 1.8 billion people on Facebook globally, there are 1.8 billion unique newsfeeds.
People on Facebook build their own newsfeeds by connecting to people and organizations they find most meaningful to them. News is one example of these sorts of organizations and stories. In order to read an article, people click on a post from a publisher on their Facebook page, which then takes them directly to the news organization's website, and they consume the news there. People can also prioritize content from specific news publishers, ensuring that they always see news content first on their newsfeed. We think this is a pretty powerful way to ensure that you never miss the news from your favourite news outlet.
Beyond the newsfeeds, we have also worked in partnership with news publishers to build innovative products, and today I'm happy to talk to you, honourable members, about Facebook Live, Facebook 360, and instant articles.
Facebook Live is our streaming product, and many Canadian news outlets have used it in a range of ways. Here is Chatelaine's Katie Underwood in a recent live video attempting to eat a Michael Phelps breakfast.
CBC has been streaming The National on Facebook Live every night for the past few weeks now, as you probably are aware, regularly getting thousands of views per episode. The Cable Public Affairs Channel, or CPAC, recently streamed the entire questioning by parliamentarians of Supreme Court nominee Malcolm Rowe directly on Facebook Live, generating around 32,000 views.
We engage with publishers constantly to understand how we can make it an even better tool. Here is an example of something that we have not released, but we are giving the parliamentary committee a preview. This is an ad break. It is not available yet. We understand from publishers that they love the product but they wish to monetize, and we hope this is one way they will be able to monetize in the future, directly off Facebook Live. Here is an example of an ad break.
Facebook 360 is a new product that enables news publishers to provide truly immersive experiences to their audiences in 360° videos. Here is an example from The Huffington Post Canada up in Fort McMurray for the wildfire.
Last year, we were honoured to partner with Rideau Hall and the Governor General on a 360° video for his Innovation Awards, which has been viewed more than one million times.
Lastly, Facebook's instant articles is a product that enables news publishers to give their audiences an incredibly fast and immersive experience on Facebook. Publisher content loads instantly, and they have images and charts in them. Perhaps interestingly for the committee, where publishers use their existing ad inventory for instant articles, they keep 100% of the revenue.
We are constantly seeking feedback on instant articles. One key thing—and perhaps my colleague can speak more to it later—is that they asked for more advertising space in instant articles, and we have accommodated by altering the product to allow them to put even more ads into instant articles.
I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for listening to our presentation.
I am available to answer any of your questions.