After dominating the live video space with Facebook Live, the social media behemoth is taking steps to help publishers share content and target consumers more effectively. While many media outlets have developed their own targeting and content delivery technologies, none of them have successfully scaled to Facebook’s level. These key developments could help rescue the industry from declining subscriptions, ushering it into the digital age.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced the Journalism Project to establish better relationships with the publishing industry. The project created a forum for news outlets to collaboratively develop Facebook’s content sharing roadmap and build on current content sharing formats like Live, 360, and Instant Articles to better suit their needs. Another advancement in content delivery was the announcement of Instant Article Subscriptions, a feature allowing users to subscribe to publications. Instant Articles allowed the social media giant to retain site traffic without losing users to blogs and other forms of content; Instant Article subscriptions takes the next step, providing publishers with subscribers’ data and making the user experience more uniform across devices. Coupled with the platform’s advanced targeting capabilities, Subscriptions could help publishers move to digital.
In yet another step towards dominating the world (of content), Facebook took a page out of Google’s playbook and recently announced that it would begin ranking web URLs shared on the platform based on load times. The new Facebook algorithm will take this ranking into account and will negatively impact the reach of web pages with slower load times, encouraging publishers to build a better experience for consumers.