Facebook is officially attempting to enter the news business, offering media companies a direct outlet for their news stories.
The news could have a significant impact on how we consume news stories, with users soon possibly being able to turn to Facebook for all their news needs.
Using Facebook for news is certainly nothing new, but more often than not, users do not turn to Facebook specifically for news. Instead, they end up learning about news stories through their friends' posts or trending topics.
Facebook, however, intends to change this, making its platform the platform for news outlets to publish their news stories. What does this mean? Well, when we see a news story on Facebook now, we click on it and are directed to the website of the news publication. In the future, instead of being directed to the publication's website, we would simply be able to read the story on Facebook directly.
At the beginning Facebook will reportedly work with organizations like the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although more are expected to be added as time goes on.
Facebook's goal here, at least as far as users are concerned, is to make consumption of online content more seamless. As far as the user is concerned, this is a great move, allowing them to treat Facebook as a sort of one-stop shop for all their daily update needs. Instead of heading to the website of a publication itself, users can simply go to Facebook, perhaps see stories from different sources, like in Google News, and find what's happening that day. It seems as though this kind of deal is inevitable.
While it might be great for users, it's perhaps not as good for news publications. Facebook stands to gain a lot from these kinds of deals, retaining users on its site and enabling it to advertise to users for longer, rather than news publications, which would be earning more money if users actually spent time on their site.
Not only that, but news publications might not have much of a choice but to publish their content on Facebook. Online publications are relying more and more on Facebook for traffic, and if Facebook begins offering on-site news, it's likely that the number of users getting to a publications site from Facebook would fall dramatically.
Facebook's interest in news will certainly benefit the user, but publications are likely to suffer, which could actually ultimately lead to many shutting down. However, only time will tell how Facebook's news offerings turn out.
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