Facebook Inc. is trying a new wooing strategy of letting publishers to retain revenues from certain advertisements, in order to convince them to share more content directly through their social network.
It has become a trend among publishers to add links on Facebook that will send users to their websites, which can be an important source of traffic, especially for websites with news content. However, following those links from a mobile device can take around eight seconds – which is really slow in this fast-paced era we live in.
The strategy is called Instant Articles, and its main purpose is to help speed the process of accessing content via Facebook. Starting this very month, the social network company is set to host on its platform videos and news provided by major publishers, such as National Geographic, BuzzFeed, and The New York Times – with many more others to join afterwards.
While this wooing proposal seemed attractive to some companies, a lot others are rightfully concerned about tying themselves even tighter to Facebook. The largest web publishers get more than 60 percent of their monthly traffic through Facebook.
Last year, Pew Research Center conducted an interesting survey that split the respondents almost in half: 48 percent said they used Facebook at least once in the past week to catch-up with news on government and politics, almost tying with those who got their news from local television.
In order to make its proposal even more alluring, Facebook agreed to change its standard revenue-sharing strategy. Even though this matter has yet to be established in its final form, one of the models under consideration specifies that publishers can keep the entirety of the revenue they get from ads they sell on news publishers sites hosted by Facebook.
One of the main motivations for Facebook to share its revenue is the fact faster-loading content will attract more users to spend more time on its platform, instead of just coming to Facebook for links to external news websites.
The format of the ads is still unclear, and details about the options publishers will have on the placement and measurement of the ads are yet to be revealed. However, Facebook will most likely prefer its publishers to use its own tools for advertising, such as LiveRail and Atlas, instead of rival technology offered by Google Inc., for example.
Image Source: Jessica M. Castle