A Rant About How Twitter And Facebook Are Burying Publishers


Facebook and Twitter are barring the exits,
hoping you’ll never ever EVER leave their social networks. And that might be good for
your user experience, but it’s very scary for online publishers like news outlets. That’s why they’re nervous about “Instant
Article” and “Moments” Publishers are in danger of becoming dumb
content in the smart pipes of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Here’s how: Normally, a publisher’s site has lots of graphics
and banners that make it feel unique, and that earn it money. They might get you to
watch a video, click on another article, pay for a subscription, buy a conference ticket,
or sign-up for a newsletter. But the latest hosted content features from
Facebook and Twitter discourage you from ever actually glimg to a publisher’s site. Instead,
the platforms just display the content, and mostly hide the style the publisher and their
links. That means publishers are deprived of the relationship with readers that’s necessary
for them to stay in business. On Facebook, Instant Articles let a publisher’s
content load immediately inside of Facebook so users don’t abort while waiting for a mobile
browser to load. The squeaky clean version of the article Facebook shows is supposed
to be easy to read. But it strips out a lot of the flavor of a publisher, as well as many
of those recirculation, subscription, and signup boxes. With Twitter Moments, Twitter’s editors compile
collections of tweets about the day’s top news stories and events. Those tweets are
displayed more visually, with images and videos expanded full screen. You just scroll horizontally
through the Moments screen and you get all the info you need. But you never visited the
publisher’s site! To make sure you don’t navigate away from Moments, Twitter strips out all
the links from tweets it shows. You’d never know that that video from a local TV station
had a link back to its website. You have to click through three extra screens just to
see if a Moment tweet had a link, and follow it to where the publisher could earn some
money. Both Instant Articles and Moments do the same
thing: they weaken the bond between publishers and readers. In that way, publishers become
interchangeable. You don’t care who made what you read or watch, as long as you’re shown
something interesting. The social networks hold the power. That’s why I say publishers are in danger
of becoming dumb content in the smart pipes of Twitter and Facebook. And that’s why publishers
need to demand they have better ways to forge a connection with readers through the new
features. Otherwise, one day, these publishers are going to run out of money, and spring
of content will dry up.

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18 thoughts on “A Rant About How Twitter And Facebook Are Burying Publishers

  1. Isn't that a call to action for publishers to find other venues to make money? Is this a paper vs website battle again? Are you guys saying that transition was ok and when online publishers are in danger then its on the social network to offer a solution?

  2. Ahhhh….the "Content Creators" are Officially at War with the "Content Managers."

    This is about to get very interesting.

  3. FB, YouTube and Goolag are constantly and continuously burying anything and everyone with a conservative view. I don't see you complaining about that.
    You are nothing more than a pathetic, little, indoor cat.

  4. CUT YOUR HAIR AND CLEAN YOUR ROOM, YOU MODERN DAY HIPPIE! Saw your interview with Crowder….YOU LOST BIG TIME!

  5. i only know this little shit from the steve crowder video, where he refused to admit that he and his communist anto freedom agenda was wrong

  6. also i dont think i read tech crunch, but it might have been some alternative some day, should i be looking for a good IT publication. knowing though for what agenda this shitty club and its employes stand for: fuck you.

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