With 1.4 billion users, Facebook has become a crucial source of traffic for publishers looking to grasp an increasingly fragmented audience which is more smartphone-oriented than ever. In recent months, the social network has been discretely holding talks with a few important media companies about hosting their directly on Facebook, and not using a link to go to an external site.
News organizations are accustomed to keep their readers on their own environments, but Facebook tried to convince them during the talks that the step was in the right direction, said one of the participants to a meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity for the New York Times.
Facebook wants to begin testing the new option in the next months, while the initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed. Other companies are also targeted by the social network, among them being The Times.
To make the proposal more tempting for publishers, Facebook has negotiated with the companies the amount of money that will be made from advertising which would be shown together with the content.
Facebook announced publicly that it wants to improve the content consumption on its site to a more seamless level. Right now, news articles on Facebook linked to the publisher’s own website, and the process of opening a new browser page is taking approximately eight seconds to load. The social network believes that this is taking to long, especially on mobile device.
Besides hosting content on Facebook, the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg is discussing with publishers about the technical ways to speed up the delivery of their articles.
Even marginal increases in the speed of a site, said , generally mean big increases in user satisfaction and traffic. So it is likely, he said, that Facebook’s plan focuses on those small improvements, rather than on getting money from deals with media companies.
Edward Kim, chief executive of the analytics and distribution company SimpleReach, said that Facebook wants to improve the speed of navigation, rather than generating money from deals with media companies. He added that this will have a lot of implications for publishers.
Some media companies have seen a decrease in traffic from Facebook in recent months, after Facebook started to prioritize video content. Video has become more popular with Facebook users and advertisers.
Image Source: Mashable