Media and advertising will suffer a shockwave of change at Facebook
Facebook’s move towards a news feed focused on loved ones is likely to cause casualties among the most social media dependent, and advertising professionals are questioning the intentions of the platform.
Facebook, which has become a platform to discover all kinds of content, brands or media, and which had lost the favor of the youngest, has announced to go back to its origins: a social network with priority publications shared by family or friends.
With a change of algorithm, the Californian giant can shake the economic plethora of media that rely entirely on the Facebook audience and pay with digital advertising.
„The new media grafted platforms have already suffered attacks from Facebook to kill the click traps, they will suffer even more,“ says Nicolas Reffait, a partner of consulting firm Bearing Point.
„For media like Buzzfeed, Konbini, Brut, Elephant, this is a questioning,“ adds Jeremy Robiolle, director of research at Xerfi.
„For traditional media that host some of their content on Facebook to gain visibility, it may also dry up some of the advertising windfall,“ he adds.
These latest media, also very critical vis-à-vis the tool proposed by Facebook „Instant Articles“, which allows publishers to host their articles directly on the platform but earns them very little revenue, could be incited to distance themselves.
Specifically, content should no longer appear automatically on the thread of the user who „liked“ the page of the media or brand but only if they are actively shared by his family.
Johan Hufnagel, former head of Libération who became editor-in-chief of Loopsider, a new 100% social media outlet that launched on Wednesday, still retains his composure: „We knew it was coming, so we anticipated (…) We will have to fight to have real commitment, so that users share and comment, „he told AFP.
The director of Brut, Guillaume Lacroix, also remains confident. „90% of our reach (range NDLR) comes from friend sharing, an algorithm that favors content that has a high rate of interaction is very favorable (…) It will unclog the thread“, estimates there.
– take back control –
„There have been major crises in terms of brand image in recent months“ at Facebook with the dissemination of false information, the accusations of provoking an addiction, which may explain why the group wants to regain control, notes Olivier Ertzscheid , Lecturer in Information Sciences and Communication at the University of Nantes.
„But there is also another problem: the capping of advertising revenues.From now, those who want to have visibility will have to pay to be visible,“ he notes.
It is difficult at this stage to gauge the impact on the ads of the social network since the whole ecosystem is taken by surprise.
„They do not warn us upstream, they impose the Facebook + Lex +,“ sighs an actor of advertising as the media and advertisers are waiting for indications to decrypt announcements of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
„It is possible that Facebook now favors advertisements based on the data, the display (videos etc …) but it will not shoot itself in the foot“ by giving up advertising that represents 97% of its income, says Renaud Menerat, president of the Mobile Marketing Association France
Because of the change in algorithm, it is possible that brands that had hired „community managers“, created Facebook pages and relied on this new marketing method to make themselves known, question their strategy by seeing their content disappear from son.
„From a users‘ point of view, that makes sense, but the media and advertisers may be losing, brands may have less reach and will have to compensate with a larger media budget“; to say buy more advertisements, notes Frederic Marty-Debat, general manager of Performics, media agency of Publicis group for social networks.