Facebook may be the biggest media company in the world, but it's not a journalism company, writes Business Insider's
Matt Rosoff. Further, traditional publishers shouldn't blame Facebook for being smarter about the consumer content business.
In the wake of news that traditional publishers' referrals on the social media
giant were down 42 percent the past few months, traditional publishers have been apoplectic about why Facebook would change its algorithm to place more emphasis on users' content vs. theirs.
The reason is simple, writes Rosoff: Facebook is giving its 1.4 billion daily users what it wants — yes, baby pictures as news
— while traditional publishers continue to give users what it thinks users should want.
"Facebook is a weird beast that a lot of journalists still don't understand," Rosoff writes. "That is because it has taken the definition of 'news' back to the era before mass media even existed. Yet, as a business, it looks exactly like a mass-media company and competes aggressively for the same advertising budgets."
Facebook tried it the Journalism way and engagement went down. So it pivoted to embrace a platform where "gossip and news are indistinguishable and transmitted instantly everywhere," Rosoff wrote.
Meanwhile, traditional publishers continue to try to fit a square peg in a round hole, yet want to blame Facebook for not driving them enough traffic.
Rosoff has a novel idea.
"Tell great stories that people love so much that they feel compelled to share them on Facebook, or wherever else. Forget the algorithm and go directly to the people," BI concluded.
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