October 28, 2014
Facebook wants to team up with publishers to get more quality content on the social network.
As part of the deal, publishers would post content directly to the Facebook’s mobile app and revenue made off the posts would be split with the publishers.
“We are at the very beginning of a conversation and it’s very important that we get this right,” Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox was quoted by the New York Times.
“Because we play an increasingly important role in how people discover the news that they read every day, we feel a responsibility to work with publishers to come up with as good an experience as we can for consumers. And we want and need that to be a good experience for publishers as well.”
Sounds like a good deal, right?
But publishers are not too keen, according to various media reports. According to the Times, newspapers and magazines do not want Facebook to have any influence over their content. Another concern is that a deal would mean handing over data about how their readers consume their content.
In a bid to make the deal too attractive for publishers to past up, Facebook is currently on a “listening tour” with publishers, to talk about mutually-beneficial collaboration, particularly targeting mobile readers.
Whether the social network will be successful is anyone’s guess. It may depend on how lucrative the deal will be for publishers.
Facebook has embarked on similar partnerships in the past.
Three years ago, a group of publishers such as The Washington Post, Business Insider and The Guardian partnered with Facebook to create “Social Reader” apps. The apps enabled users to read and then share content on the Facebook.
By 2012, however, most of the publishers began to phase out the apps because although they were quite popular, user engagement was occurring only on Facebook — not on the publication’s websites. Without the much sought-after click-throughs to sites of the publications, there was no money to be made.
The other problem with the app, according to users, was too many updates about what other people were reading filling their news feeds.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.