Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Image: AP/Mark Lennihan)

As once-was-Facebook Meta sees its advertising revenues start to slide, it looks like the company is sliding out of the commitments it made to pay publishers for posting their news stories in its rarely used News tab.

This will hit Australia’s masthead News-Nine duopoly, who have relied on the payments from Meta and Google to sustain profits to their parent companies as they attempt to pull off the transition from being mass ad businesses to ones targeting their audience for subscriptions.

Just last year, mid-pandemic, Meta seemed like a money pit. As it rose rapidly through the top 10 global companies, getting old media (with its enduring political clout) off its back was one of the platform’s top 10 problems. Not anymore.