IN­DUS­TRY NEWS

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Joe Sills

“Why Face­book is Killing the News” In 2013, Face­book an­nounced a push into news. Last week, in the early days of 2018, it’s back­ing out. The news was an­nounced by Face­book CEO, Mark Zucker­berg, late last week, and the change is al­ready tak­ing place on your News Feed – Joe Sills

In 2013, Face­book an­nounced a push into news. Last week, in the early days of 2018, it’s back­ing out. The news was an­nounced by Face­book CEO, Mark Zucker­berg, late last week, and the change is al­ready tak­ing place on your News Feed.

“…re­cently we’ve got­ten feed­back from our com­mu­nity that pub­lic con­tent - posts from busi­nesses, brands and me­dia - is crowd­ing out the per­sonal mo­ments that lead us to con­nect more with each other,” Zucker­berg posted on his per­sonal Face­book page last Thurs­day. “It’s easy to un­der­stand how we got here. Video and other pub­lic con­tent have ex­ploded on Face­book in the past cou­ple of years. Since there’s more pub­lic con­tent than posts from your friends and fam­ily, the bal­ance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most im­por­tant thing Face­book can do - help us con­nect with each other.”

That may seem like a lot of “coach speak” but the gist of it is this - busi­ness pages on Face­book are likely to see their reach and en­gage­ment plum­met. If your web­site or busi­ness has been re­ly­ing on Face­book for traf­fic and cus­tomers, the hon­ey­moon could be over.

Who will take the big­gest hit?

Right now, brands and pub­lish­ers are set to take the big­gest hit from Face­book. Ex­perts say Zucker­berg’s 180-de­gree tilt in strat­egy is a di­rect re­flec­tion of to­day’s tu­mul­tuous po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, in which his com­pany has been ac­cused of com­pla­cency in the hi-jack­ing of the 2016 U.S. elec­tion by Rus­sia, and fail­ing to po­lice the spread of un­ver­i­fied news or­ga­ni­za­tions on its plat­form. Un­able or un­will­ing to clean the well - 126 mil­lion peo­ple were reached by some 80,000 posts by Krem­lin-linked Rus­sian con­trac­tors dur­ing the elec­tion cy­cle - Face­book is opt­ing to dry it up.

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less pub­lic con­tent like posts from busi­nesses, brands, and me­dia,” Zucker­berg said. “And the pub­lic con­tent you see more will be held to the same stan­dard - it should en­cour­age mean­ing­ful in­ter­ac­tions be­tween peo­ple.”

In short: you’ll see fewer posts from brands and more posts of fam­ily pho­tos. Zucker­berg knows this move will force peo­ple to spend less time on his net­work by de­creas­ing time spent watch­ing videos and in­ter­act­ing with ar­ti­cles and im­ages from brands, but with two bil­lion ac­tive users, Face­book has cur­rency to spend.

There’s a flip side to this. There’s the op­por­tu­nity for out­lets will­ing to rely less on so­cial net­works to set their fate, pub­lish­ers who have di­ver­si­fied their traf­fic sources, who have pushed back on Face­book’s News Feed car­rots, who have built (or are build­ing) brands that res­onate with au­di­ences be­yond what can be bought or given. Value not gifted by Face­book could be a very good thing for pub­lish­ers.

Last week’s news gar­nered at­ten­tion na­tion­wide from the New York Times, CNBC, Ad­week, and Tech Crunch. Brands like Buz­zfeed, which gained cred­i­bil­ity over the so­cial net­work, sud­denly find them­selves in peril. As for your tackle shop? It’s a good idea to start di­ver­si­fy­ing the way you reach cus­tomers if you’ve been re­ly­ing heav­ily on Face­book.

Out­reach ca­pa­bil­i­ties like email lists, SMS lists, and phys­i­cal ad­dresses are now more valu­able than ever. As for that In­sta­gram ac­count you’ve been putting off?

It’s prob­a­bly time to get it go­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.