Several media companies are about to take a big gamble on Facebook. The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic are all discussing partnerships with Facebook that would have them produce content hosted on the social giant.
The deal would be great for Facebook, but publishers are obviously more wary. Facebook will share revenue with the companies, but the social network would likely keep all ads and most of the data pulled from users’ interactions with the content.
As for media companies that don’t want to partner with Facebook, they could end up being forced into it. Facebook drives heaps of traffic. What happens when it tweaks its algorithm to focus more on articles that it already hosts?
Facebook isn’t stopping with the Times, BuzzFeed and NatGeo. The Guardian, Quartz and other sites have been approached about a deal.
The question for all of the sites is the same: Will this partnership end up costing them more than it’s worth? Navigating a media company toward success is hard enough these days. It’s even more difficult when someone else is driving the car.