Facebook is proposing a unique opportunity to content publishers that would get articles and website info posted directly into Facebook's mobile app.
The company has set out on what it's calling a "listening tour" with publishers to discuss ways publishers and Facebook could collaborate, in particular when it comes to mobile, in regard to content.
Facebook's mobile app is used by 654 million users on a daily basis, and is able to load content extremely quickly. Publisher websites, however, are often slow to load and have a lot of advertising, which can be prove frustrating on mobile devices. Facebook seems to be looking for a quick fix to that challenge by making content much quicker and easier to access on mobile devices.
This idea is just one of several options Facebook is proposing to pubishing partners. In this proposal advertising revenue would be split between the social media company and publishers. It is not yet certain what the split would be.
It is likely publishers will tread slowly with deals as the one that Facebook is proposing. One reason is that all data related to customers and their reading experience tied to the content would belong to Facebook. This would not be ideal for publishers, who will likely want as much access to that data as possible. Facebook will also have much more control over what kind of content is served to readers.
"We are at the very beginning of a conversation and it's very important that we get this right," said Chris Cox, chief product officer for Facebook. "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."
Details about the publishing approach are still surfacing, however this is not the first time publishers have partnered with Facebook. Several large publishers have partnered with the social network to create different Social Reader apps. While these apps were successful, many of them turned out to be quite one-sided, showing a lower clock-through rate to publishers' websites and much higher activity within Facebook's ecosystem.
Despite Facebook's seemingly good intentions, many publishers are already afraid of the power Facebook has considering the huge amount of traffic that is driven to their websites from Facebook.