Facebook's Future Content Strategy Could Change the Way You Use the Internet

The future of Facebook may be as a major content-host. Instead of clicking links to visit outside sites, much of what you read on the web could soon be within Mark Zuckerberg's domain.

Remember all those articles from 6 years ago questioning whether Facebook would ever be able to make money off their userbase? Whoops.


As Marcus Wohlsen writes over at Wired, Facebook has deposed lesser homepages and ascended to the throne of online content royalty, thus opening itself up to a whole lot of ad revenue. The site has become the internet's biggest hub for content-driven web traffic (for example, most of Big Think's pageviews arrive via links on our Facebook page) and Wohlsen wonders whether we've only just seen the tip of the iceberg:

"Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook’s News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook’s algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online. Instead of going to all this trouble to get people to click a link on Facebook that takes them somewhere else, the future of Internet content may be a world in which no video, article, or cat GIF gallery lives outside of Facebook at all."

Wohlsen references David Carr's New York Times piece from earlier this week about how Facebook has offered to collaborate with various publishers by hosting their content on-site. These publishers are hesitant to trust the social media juggernaut but Wohlsen believes they may not long have a choice. 

(Note: Another relevant read on this topic is Ravi Somaiya's piece from the same publication about how Facebook has changed the face of online journalism.)

Now that Facebook has mastered mobile ad revenue while other sites have struggled, there may soon come a time where much of the content you access via Facebook will all be hosted on Facebook. We're already seeing Mark Zuckerberg's push to include more content within the site itself. The relatively new trending topics sidebar is an example, as well as how the mythical algorithm favors on-site content such as Facebook-hosted videos over those hosted by competitors such as YouTube, which is owned by Google.

If only a few popular sites decide to give in to Facebook's offer, Zuckerberg could ignite a major ad revenue war. Hosted content would be heavily promoted while links to off-site publishers would be buried, thus tanking the latter's ad revenue. Wohlsen makes the perceptive point that search-giant Google has a vested interest in making sure content stays  on the web while Facebook would rather have users do all their surfing on-site. Such a conflict between two of the tech world's most powerful companies makes Batman vs. Superman look like a schoolyard scuffle.

Take a look at the entire piece, linked again below, and let us know what you think.

Read more at Wired

Photo credit: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less