Facebook has long been one of the biggest places go to find news. In most cases people would see links to other sites such as the New York Times, Forbes, BuzzFeed and many others, which users would click on to read or view the content. In fact, many top sites were getting up to 40% of their traffic from Facebook.
In an effort to streamline this process, and for Facebook to get some additional income, Facebook is working with news organizations and other online publications to have content hosted inside of Facebook itself. This would essentially mean that when you click a news story in your news feed, you would often be directed to an internal Facebook page.
While no specific details have been released, this content page would likely be formatted much differently than what a typical Facebook page would look like. This would give additional space to focus on the content itself, which presumably would still be branded with the source author’s information (BuzzFeed, New York Times, ect).
The deals that are being worked out seem to have some sort of revenue sharing deal in place. Whether it would mean that Facebook ads are displayed and Facebook would split the revenue with the publisher, or the publisher can bring in their own ads and split the revenue with Facebook is not yet clear. It seems much more likely, however, that it would be Facebook ads that are displayed since Facebook has the ability to give much more targeted advertising.
Some of the publishers that are reportedly in negotiations with Facebook include the New York Times, Buzz Feed and National Geographic. The big question for many marketers will be how far this is going to go. Will smaller publishers someday have the opportunity to have their content hosted on Facebook as well? If so, will this end up being a good way to improve income, or just another way for Facebook to boost their revenue.
Another question that needs to be answered is whether Facebook will give priority position in the News Feed for content that is hosted on their platform.