A bird's eye view: King Kong ain't got nuthin' on Facebook.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Facebook started hosting content from select news organizations. You can tell that they're definitely not kidding around, as publishers include the venerated New York Times and National Geographic, as well as Buzzfeed - no small feat for The Book to get them all on the same page, as it were.
The New York Times recently published an article on this development, saying, "[I]t will start as a relatively handcrafted effort, both in selection of articles and monitoring how they will render on the Facebook side.” So don't expect to see all of the 300 articles they publish daily on The Book anytime soon.
On the Face of it [sic], this move makes a lot of sense:
- Facebook has a huge pool of users who read the news on their phones...
- Now, they won't need to leave the app to do so; not only that, the articles will be optimized to be read on smartphones...
- And considering the organic reach on Facebook Pages has declined in recent years, this could be a way to get articles into the hands of fans. As AdWeek points out, Facebook has already shown great numbers when the middleman was cut out of video posts.
But is it worth the risk?
Publishers depend heavily on advertisements to keep the lights on. What if those advertisers decide that Facebook is a more lucrative medium? And what if users decide to always stay on Facebook instead of going to the news sites, further making those advertisements less valuable?
It's a huge gamble that could really affect the outlets' bottom lines. But however this experiment ends, it's an indicator of Facebook's dominance in the current media landscape. Note I said "media landscape," not "social media landscape."
So while we're waiting to see how all this plays out, it's worth revisiting how to best make Facebook work for us. More than a year after it was published on WUL, this post still has some good tips on building your Facebook community. And for a more recent take, here are 22 tips on generating better Facebook results from tech guru Robert Scoble (disclosure: former client).
After all, if you're going to dance with the gorilla in the room, you better have some heavy duty clogs on.