Quick poll of tech players after a big day at F8
By Christopher Heine
We did a quick poll of tech players to gain insight into whether media companies should fear the two features. Here’s what they told us:
The program lets publishers post whole text stories and other multimedia content directly to the news feed while selling ads against them, though it threatens to siphon traffic from their proprietary websites.
Is Facebook, with the initiative, being a friend to publishers or a foe?
“Facebook Instant Articles is neither an ally nor a threat since the war is already over, and Facebook won,” said Sean Cullen, evp product and technology at Fluent. “Publishers have no choice but to adopt Instant Articles in order to maintain their existing traffic levels and many will have no choice but to buy advertising from Facebook to grow.”
Yaniv Makover, CEO of content marketing vendor Keywee, said, “Facebook is a long-term gain for publishers that provide long-term value. However, publishers looking for a quick fix will be discouraged. Some publishers might think Facebook has overly onerous user-experience guidelines that favor quality content over content whose chief purpose is to go viral.”
There are, of course, other viable platforms for publishers to push their content including Twitter, Snapchat, Google AMP and Apple News, noted Gil Regev, CMO of tech vendor Marfeel.
“One thing publishers do need to keep in mind is that Facebook is just one channel,” he said. “They should not pick and choose between these but rather utilize them all. [It's important to stress] the need to continue grooming their own mobile properties, making sure that they provide attractive, interactive, cohesive, engagement and monetization-driven layouts that act as landing pages, keeping users engaged and coming back for more.”
John Potter, CTO of Purch, views Facebook as more of an ally than a threat for publishers.
“On the other hand,” he said, “Facebook could become a threat in the future if publishers become too reliant on the platform to reach an audience, which is no different than the current situation with Google.”
Potter also said, “Given the growth of other social platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter, you can plausibly make the argument that Facebook will never be as dominant as Google has been on the web.”