Facebook will be "the press grosso of the digital world – nothing more than a distribution platform and a service provider“, said Matthias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer. But Döpfner did not see the fact that Facebook will be a very big publisher when launching Instant Articles.
The german newspaper „Bild“ together with „Der Spiegel“ are one of the 9 cooperation partners, which agreed to the cooperation in early spring 2015. Lots of persons – including us - were sceptical when the cooperation started. After publishing one article the cooperation newspapers / magazines stopped and waited hesitantly.
But this week the alarm clock rings: Meanwhile Facebook has aquired 30 cooperation partners like the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Vox Media, Time and CBS Interactive. To understand why the Washington Post will publish all content through Facebook we have to look on the main advantage:
For sure the long-term wide media coverage which will be generated is the big advantage for publishers. Until now the Instant Articles are located in the Betaphase and are provided only for 12,5 % of the users via iOS-App but it is known that Facebook with its 1,44 billion active users is a train it is worth to jump on. And Facebook generates up to 85% of the overall traffic.
The biggest advertising message for Facebook are the customer data. Publishers wish to know more about their clients (their „transparent customers“) to position target-oriented content. For a long while publishers analyse the way of their content on Facebook through social media analysis tools. So to be part of one of the biggest networks and to profitate of the huge amount of data is a genuine added value.
Publishers hope to get a better user experience and to acquire especially young readers. Short charging times, direct access to content and „mobile first“-strategy are the facts, thus the established publishing houses still struggling to do up.
The Washington Post takes a bold step to publish 100% of their content via the Newsreader. But when the experiment is successful, it will pave the way not only for other media companies, even though for brand companies. These can use a similiar concept to realise storytelling, native advertising and real-time campaigns via social media. Brands like Marriot, GE and Red Bull are in the starting blocks and are certainly pleased about the courage of the Washington Post.
This article was written by Robert Daubner, Consultant and Media Specialist at SCHICKLER Media Consultants in Hamburg. It was also published in german language at www.schicklernext.com.