atans1

Another problem for Anti-PAP websites

In Internet on 30/10/2017 at 4:26 pm

Last year I reported how FB’s algo tweaks affected anti-PAP sites sites like TOC and The Idiots Anti-PAP sites lose traffic after Facebook tweaks algos.

Well things could be getting worse if FB’s latest “experiment” comes to S’pore or is introduced globally.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41775010

Facebook panics publishers

In any newsroom around the world these days, the air will be full of mentions of Facebook and Twitter. Publishers know the readers and viewers they want to reach are increasingly spending their time scrolling through those apps on their smartphones. And many publishers have come to rely on the social media giants to give their articles and videos maximum exposure.

So a limited experiment by Facebook in six countries – Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia – to take unpaid news posts out of the main feed and put them into a separate “Explore” tab, raised serious concerns about the financial importance of Silicon Valley to the news media. Slovakian journalist Filip Struharik documented the impact, writing that publishers in his country were seeing just a quarter of the interactions they used to get before the change.

Joshua Benton, who runs the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, told me that Facebook and Google together are responsible for around 80% of external traffic to news organisation websites, so publishers are right to be worried.

However, he also said that Facebook has its own worries. “They’re in a tough position because Facebook users prefer posts from their friends and family, but at the same time Facebook has become an absolutely critical source of traffic for news organisations. And Facebook’s business is selling ads.”

So, I asked him, is Facebook trying to distance itself from being treated as a news publisher itself by regulators worried about fake news and foreign political interference? “Facebook did sort of stumble into being the main distributor of news on the planet Earth by accident,” said Benton. “I think a lot of folks at Facebook would be happy if this was just something they didn’t have to worry about.”

Meanwhile Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed, tried to calm frayed nerves. “There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in News Feed or Explore,” he wrote in a blog. But perhaps his use of the word “current” won’t allay every publisher’s fears.

 

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