Many Internet users browse Facebook to find links to popular news items, posted and shared by the social network’s members. Now, the mega-website is taking things one step further, as Facebook may host news and opinion content themselves, in partnership with Buzzfeed, The New York Times, National Geographic and other media outlets.
In fact, according to the New York Times, the social network, with around one billion users, is apparently having talks with “at least half a dozen” media companies, as Facebook may host news in the future.
— The Verge (@verge) March 24, 2015
What that means to users is, anyone interested in the latest news can actually read it directly from the Facebook news feed, rather than following user’s links to their own news websites.
The New York Times says this latest move “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.” Facebook may host news and start embedding publishers’ content within the next few months.
This would be good for Facebook and would also, apparently, be good for the news website providing the content, as reportedly, the social website will offer a tasty slice of revenue earned on the ads framing those news stories on their site, to sort of sweeten the deal.
For those who write and publish articles elsewhere and link to their stories on the website, if it is true that Facebook may host news, this will, of course, not be as positive, probably forcing them to link to their articles elsewhere in the social media online.
— Ben Ramsey (@ramsey) March 24, 2015
Apparently, PCMag tried to contact a Facebook spokesperson about the latest plans, but they reportedly declined to comment on whether Facebook may host news or not.
Facebook has previously made inroads into the news market in the past. In 2014, they launched FB Newswire, a service aimed at journalists and newsrooms seeking content to share in their own articles, but now they plan to go further.
As for users, browsing the news feed has always been a popular and easy way to keep up with trending news. According to the Pew Research Center, in late 2013, almost half adult users of the social media network got their news from Facebook. Some accidentally stumbled on news information by visiting Facebook to read up on their friends’ posts or update their status.
However, according to the survey, only 5 percent said that this was an important way to obtain news. This may change as Facebook may host news itself now, of course.
However, with the eve of short videos to replace the longer articles, this has been popular with Internet surfers, and apparently,Facebook recently had a 75 percent increase in video posts per user worldwide. In the U.S., this apparently increased to 94 percent. People found it easier and more convenient to sit and watch a video, rather than make the effort to read a long article.
As Facebook may host news, the benefit to the website is immeasurable as, instead of users getting links to other websites, which effectively directs them away from the social media site, which they doesn’t like, users will instead hang around to slurp up all the advertising the website feeds.
According to the New York Times, it takes around eight seconds of loading time for people to head off to media articles elsewhere, which Facebook figures is too long. They much prefer to keep everyone hooked and reading their news, along with everything else on offer, directly on Facebook itself.
Media companies may become nervous at the idea, as they prefer to control their own audience, brand, and advertising dollars, but Facebook will no doubt benefit immeasurably.
In other news about the social media website, the Inquisitr reports that Facebook Messenger now makes mobile payments, but asks if these are safe.
[Image: CC by-SA 2.0 Dimitris Kalogeropoylos]