At the 2015 Facebook conference last week, it was unveiled that Facebook will soon start hosting content from publishers directly on its social media network. This allows Facebook users to search for news or see content in their feeds and click through to view more without leaving the site. Facebook will host the content and users will not have to be directed to an external link. Facebook has setup revenue sharing deals with sites like BuzzFeed, New York Times and others to create what should be a more engaging experience for users.
It’s clear that traditional news outlets are losing ground to social media and the impact of Facebook’s new change could be the first of many deals to be made by other social media websites such as Twitter. Twitter needs to improve its bounce rates and user engagement so in-feed content from 3rd party platforms could be the answer like paid content from musicians and other publishers. The ad revenue sharing deals are a win-win for all involved. If a story is hot, it gets more attention on social media organically so imagine if the story begins to develop and take shape earlier as it unfolds – via social media. This allows the social media algorithms to more prominently feature content with better information based on hosting data.
This will be a necessary new trend for other sites to follow if it proves successful for Facebook which is highly likely. The design will be critical, it must be ultra user friendly and adaptable to mobile devices where people consume content the most. Buzzfeed articles need to be shown in a different manner than New York Times articles for example because New York Times content tends to be a bit longer which isn’t easy to read on a smaller phones. Expect Facebook to become the new Yahoo with the social media bells and whistles that make a digital newspaper integrated with social media a formidable competitor to any news outlet around.
Because Facebook is seeing significant increases in engagement via video. I would expect to see traditional news organizations wanting in on similar deals. The days of 60 million viewers for the old networks has dwindled down to less than a few million. This would effectively make Facebook an internet portal/channel with significant reach and advertisers looking to ink more deals with them – directly. I like where this is going but this will require Facebook to share web analytics and companies that specialize in software like Omniture will be in high demand.