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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook is funding 2 new BuzzFeed shows as a part of its effort to bolster news video on Watch, according to an internal memo by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith that was sent to staff late last night.

Details: The first show — called "Did You See This?" — will launch as a daily news program this September with a rotating cast of BuzzFeed News reporters and pop culture experts. The daily news roundup will unfold "using the Facebook Messenger feature in BuzzFeed’s fan-favorite video format," writes Smith.

  • Facebook will also fund "That Literally Happened," a weekly series that "brings nostalgia and historical curiosity to life through the lens of Gen Y and Gen Next-ers learning about the news, alongside the generations who lived through it." It will debut in September and will be hosted by BuzzFeed News’ Hayes Brown.

Yes, but: BuzzFeed's current show on Watch called "Profile," which has completed its one-year run, isn't getting renewed, which sources say can be attributed in part to its long-form format. Smith says "we’re not ruling out using the "Profile" brand in another context, and we’re working toward defining what that is."

The big picture: Facebook said in June that it would launch a new series of shows on its video tab Watch this year, using learnings from the shows it funded over the past year. Reports have suggested that Facebook is spending around $90 million to invest in news shows on Watch.

  • A new report out from The Wall Street Journal last week suggested that Facebook has offered millions of dollars to big news organizations to license their content for a Facebook news section to debut in 2019.

Be smart: A source tells Axios that Facebook won't actually be licensing articles, but rather will be paying for links to articles and snippets of news. In Europe, regulators passed a controversial "link tax" last year, charging major web platforms for using snippets of news content online.

Between the lines: BuzzFeed has now had to take a clinical approach to transforming its video business.

  • In 2018, it started to transition its business out of the viral feed videos into licensed content. It's now focusing more on news programming, and creating licensed shows for social specifically, not just Netflix or other OTT platforms.
  • BuzzFeed last month launched its first show on Snapchat called "BTW," a daily afternoon celebrity and entertainment news update.
  • It also renewed its morning show on Twitter "AM2DM" earlier this year.

Go deeper: The sports streaming landscape, mapped

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.