Facebook has largely been criticized over the past few months for its moves seemingly against content publishers, however, it seems as though the company is keeping publishers in mind after all.
Facebook has announced “Instant Articles,” which will bring full news articles straight to a user’s News Feed, and will offer publishers ad revenue made from the pages with these articles.
Publishers currently often post links to their articles, however these links can often take a long time to open on things like mobile devices. Facebook, however, hopes to speed up this whole process, and will host content from the likes of BuzzFeed, New York Times, National Geographic, and others as early as later this month.
According to reports, the money is not as important as speeding up the process in which users access articles. Of course the move isn’t only for users, and the social media network will likely end up making money through other advertising means because of the fact that users will not be directed to a different site and will instead stay on Facebook.
Of course, many publishers are a little skeptical at the idea of turning over their content to Facebook, especially considering the company’s track record with publishers. If users end up staying on Facebook rather than heading to other websites, publishers could potentially lose out on a lot of referral traffic. Not only that, but traffic that does get redirected to a publishers website might end up staying and heading over to other pages rather than simply the one.
Not only that, but it could also mean that publishers will miss out on statistics about their readers, information which often proves to be invaluable in deciding on the types of content to publish.
While some may be wary of tying themselves too closely to Facebook, it seems as though eventually publishers might have to publish their content on the social media network, with users likely preferring to stay on one site. Because of this and the fact that Facebook is more likely to promote content hosted on its site, publishers that decide against the deal with Facebook may end up losing larger amounts of traffic.
It remains to be seen exactly how Facebook will publish this content and how users will access it, however articles will presumably be published on the business pages of the publications.
It is also unclear what format the ads that Facebook serves alongside the content will take or even how much money these ads will make.
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