Facebook has been working towards making the experience of consuming content online more seamless. To this effect Facebook has been working with several media companies about hosting content inside Facebook rather than linking the news from an external site. Currently, news is published on the provider’s own website, and open in a web browser, typically taking about eight seconds to load.
New York Times reports that Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months and major news organizations expected to be part of the plan include The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic.
This would mark a significant step for the news organization who most feel Facebook is in direct competition with them for online ad revenue. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web. This inadvertently shapes the content delivered and serves as a basis for the creation of ads.
Facebook has allayed these fears by inclusion of a proposal to allow advertising alongside the content. Although the revenue-sharing ideas are still in flux, one would allow publishers to show a single ad in a custom format within each Facebook article. Facebook has not done any kind of revenue-sharing with content publishers. Its position has been “Put your content on Facebook and we’ll send you traffic.”
The proposal also involves suggestion on faster delivery of the content. This would inevitably improve user satisfaction especially with the uptake of mobile devices and continued delivery of the same via these forums. This is an interesting development as Facebook has in the recent past focused on video which allows them to gain more ad revenue. It would also be interesting to see if the news publishers will agree to it even with the ad revenue sharing model.
Is this Facebook planning to swallow media publishers? What do you think?