Facebook crashes online newspapers dependence for traffic on its platform
Online publishers may have to look elsewhere to grow their audience, rather than depend on Facebook.
The giant social platform disclosed this through its founder, Mark Zukerberg.
Zukerberg said that the company would now prioritize users’ posts over publishers’ in the news feed.
According to Zukerberg, the aim of Facebook has always been to bring friends and families together.
His words: “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That's why we've always put friends and family at the core of the experience.
“Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
“As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Facebook has been criticized lately for its failure to curtail the spread of fake news on the social network. Videos and news content have exploded on the network recently leading some to label it toxic.
So, by tweaking its algorithm, facebook is going back to its root - bringing people closer - and tackling the fake news phenomenon.
Publishers have been seeing an ongoing decline in referral traffic on the social network. It is a trend that will likely accelerate. Impressions and hits on major sites have reduced due to the change announced by Facebook.
It is no longer how many likes you gather on the network that gives you referrals.
According Chibuike Goodnews, Co-Founder of Dochase ADX, this means that publishers have to devise ways of growing traffic outside Facebook.
What this means is that for publishers which depend on the social network for traffic need to diversify.
He said: “Publishers need to have natural traffic that will always come back to read their stories. They should always have regular newsletter that would grow their subscriber base and in turn make generate traffic for them.”
Top Nigerian publishers depend on the social network for more than 80 per cent of their traffic, according to Similarweb. It means the impressions generated by these publishers would greatly decline.
“We noticed that publishers which have been doing 200,000 impressions daily suddenly plummeted to about 40,000. We found out that it was the change Facebook made that greatly affected them,” Goodnews said.
To protect against that, publishers have to add new social distribution channels, invest more resources in existing ones and beefing up internal tools that deepen the relationships they already have with existing users.