A lot of you get your news through your Facebook feeds. You see an interesting story, click the link, and head to the website to read it. According to The New York Times, Facebook wants to eliminate the heading to the website part.
The New York Times says Facebook has been in talks with at least 6 media companies about hosting their content directly on Facebook instead of users having to click out. Some of the websites in talks to partner with Facebook include The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic.
It’s no secret that Facebook wants to make consuming content as seamless as possible. But, websites hosting their content directly on Facebook? This is going to be interesting.
Facebook is huge. There’s no denying that. With 1.4 billion users, Facebook attracts the attention of every website looking for traffic.
The New York Times says the obvious in their report. Having content directly hosted on Facebook “would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them.”
Then again, the initial partners are so big – they probably won’t see any significant traffic hit.
It all comes down to what Facebook has to offer besides eyeballs. Content hosted on their own website makes money. The report says Facebook is looking at ways for these partners to make money from advertising that would appear with the content.
Edward Kim, chief executive of analytics company SimpleReach summed it up in one sentence to The New York Times. “It really comes down to how Facebook structures this, and how they can ensure this is a win on both sides.”
This gets interesting when you think about native advertising and sponsored content. I doubt Facebook picks these kinds of articles up. But, that’s where a lot of websites are turning. Traditional advertising isn’t as good as it used to be. Users are increasingly ad blind.
One reason publishers might be on board with hosting on Facebook is due to drops in traffic for long-form articles. Video is the more popular form of content. Earlier this year, Facebook announced the number of video posts jumped 94% in the U.S. The company averages more than 1 billion video views a day. And, more than 50% of people in the U.S. go to Facebook each day to watch at least one video.
By hosting directly on Facebook, they guarantee eyes on long-form articles.
For users, it’s a win. Accessing great content quicker is always a plus. But, can Facebook make it worth it for publishers? That remains to be seen.