Facebook’s News Monopoly Might Soon Be Coming to An End

Josh Constine of Tech Crunch offers a detailed analysis of “How Facebook stole the news business.”  One of the most salient points of this article is when Constine wrote, “…Facebook has centralized attention typically spread across the web……The problem is that for society as a whole, this leads to a demonetization and eventual defunding of some news publishers, content creators and utility providers while simultaneously making them heavily reliant on Facebook.”
As a news content producer since 2003, I can attest to how Facebook has literally changed how I have produced news.  I have built up some news projects almot entirely through Facebook traffic.  But now, more and more, I am working on ‘diversifying’ the traffic opportunities and relying less and less on Facebook, thanks, in large part, to its tendancy, as Constine points out in his article, to almost completely disregard the content provider.

While Constine’s article is, in my opinion, spot on, I would add to this a STRONG suspicion that my approach to seeking after traffic opportunites will not be unique, and Facebook is endangering having content produced for it that has helped, large part, keep users on their platform.

How Facebook stole the news business

…..Facebook is pushing into local news, but publishers should be wary of making the same crooked deal. It might provide more exposure and traffic for smaller outlets today, but it could teach users they only need to visit Facebook for local news in the future. Here’s how Facebook retrained us over the past 12 years to drain the dollars out of news.

….To be clear, Facebook’s intention, that I believe to be earnest, is to foster stronger ties between its users and their communities to boost well-being. But that doesn’t mean ripple effects are positive. The critical lens through which to view all of Facebook’s strategy is that in the short term it puts users first, itself second and everyone else a distant, distant third. That includes developers, advertisers and definitely news publishers……

….Facebook has centralized attention typically spread across the web. A few years back I wrote about “20 New Ways Facebook Is Eating The Internet,” and its appetite has only grown. It’s trying to do the same with Watch (YouTube), Marketplace (Craigslist and eBay) and many other features. It’s a smart plan that ends up arguably improving the experience for individual users — or at least offering new options while making Facebook more essential and much richer.

The problem is that for society as a whole, this leads to a demonetization and eventual defunding of some news publishers, content creators and utility providers while simultaneously making them heavily reliant on Facebook. This gives Facebook the power to decide what types of content, what topics, and what sources are important. Even if Facebook believes itself to be a neutral tech platform, it implicitly plays the role of media company as its values define the feed. Having a single editor’s fallible algorithms determine the news consumption of the wired world is a precarious situation.

 

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About Paul Gordon 2945 Articles
Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv