Facebook is looking to become an even bigger part of its users’ lives, as the Ney York Times reported on Tuesday that it has already signed agreements with certain news companies – including NYT itself, BuzzFeed or National Geographic – to display full content directly on the platform rather than just sharing links leading to their respective sites.
Most media outlets currently acknowledge the importance and influence of Facebook by having their own pages on the platform, on which they share updates regarding new content posted on their external sites while also providing links leading to them. The average loading speed when accessing a media site from Facebook is 8 seconds, and the company considers that eliminating it would make a world of difference especially on smartphones.
In exchange for posting their content directly on the site, publishers would get revenue from ads running on their article pages. This would mark the first time content publishers would share advertisement revenues with Facebook on a regular basis; the American giant has experimented with this concept sporadically in the recent past, including splitting income with the NFL for ads presented in sponsored football videos.
Reaction to this speculation has been mixed within media publishers: reportedly, The Guardian employees suggested that this might work only if contracts are signed for the entire industry rather than separate outlets, with them also retain control over any kind of advertisement. Most have declined to comment on the idea, waiting probably for the social media giant to presenting them with something concrete before judging on its viability.
However, the idea of integrating news into the most popular social media platform worldwide could have a series of game-changing implications for online news outlets. If, let’s say, only a couple of high profile publishers jump the pond and accept letting their content fully within Facebook, the possible exposure they could reach grows significantly, considering that the site has more than 1.3 billion users. News sites that choose not to collaborate with Facebook might end up finding themselves at an extreme disadvantage from this point of view; this in turn might lead to the creation of a very disparate coverage medium. Non-Facebook publishers might find themselves needing to adapt their content to be different enough from Facebook ones, so that it could still generate the present amount of traffic despite not having the same accessibility as their competitors.
Image Source: Mashable