Facebook to Media: We’ll Host Your Content

By David Cohen Comment

FacebookOnWhiteiPadAll the news that’s fit to Facebook? The New York Times reported that the social network is in talks with media companies about hosting their content, rather than directing users to external links.

According to the Times, companies involved in talks with Facebook include the Times itself, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, with the Times and Facebook “moving closer to a firm deal.”

Two sources familiar with the discussions told the Times that Facebook will begin testing the format over the next few months, adding that the social network and the publishers are also exploring ways for the content providers to earn money from ads running alongside their content.

According to the Times, user experience is also a concern, in addition to monetization opportunities for Facebook and the publishers, as the social network and the media companies are researching ways to make their content load quicker, and the elimination of forcing users to click through to external sites is one step in that process.

Another issue for publishers, SimpleReach CEO Edward Kim told the Times, is Facebook’s emphasis on video content, which has led to lower traffic from the social network for some media companies. Kim told the newspaper:

There are a lot of implications for publishers. It really comes down to how Facebook structures this, and how it can ensure that t is a win on both sides.

Newspaper consultant Alan D. Mutter, author of blog Reflections of a Newsosaur, told the Times he sees publishers making their content available via outlets other than their sites in the long term, adding:

But in the short term, it’s a scary proposition, because publishers want to control their brand, their audience and their advertising dollars.

As for Facebook, Mutter told the Times:

It enhances user satisfaction, keeps users on its site and has better content, which allows it to sell advertising at better rates.

Readers: Would it make a difference to you if you read media organizations’ content on Facebook or on their websites?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.