Opinion: Facebook...from social media platform to mega publisher

After conquering copy, Facebook has set its vision on video, and it will change the publishing landscape forever, argues Jeremy Bamidele

Adjunct professor and PR and corporate communications specialist Jeremy Bamidele
Adjunct professor and PR and corporate communications specialist Jeremy Bamidele

Facebook is introducing a new way for video partners to share advertising revenue. Partners including NBA, Hearst, Fox Sports, Funny or Die and Tastemade will receive 45 per cent of the ad revenue from the clips they upload, while Facebook takes the remaining 55 per cent.

The move by Facebook is indicative of a greater trend in the social media world—platforms becoming publishers..

After becoming the world’s largest publisher earlier this year when it launched Instant Articles with the likes of New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC and The Atlantic, Facebook is now moving to video - the most shared type of content on the platform. This should be a wake-up call for YouTube, which lacks much of the functionality of Facebook and, if it loses its cutting edge, could very easily be relegated to MySpace status.

Facebook’s power is bolstered by the fact it is the publisher and the social media platform. While traditional publishers are being hit by social media users bypassing landing pages and instead going directly to articles, Facebook will have no such problem. They’ll be able to promote articles on their sidebar and use artificial intelligence software to keep people hooked on content and staying on the platform.

Social media networks hold vast amounts of user data. Consequently, their ability to utilize artificial intelligence to best determine what would most interest someone is higher than in perhaps any other industry.

The world of publishing is about to change drastically and most likely irreversibly. Social media was a tool for the public; soon it will be a tool of mass influence for corporations.

The power of the press lost during the digital age to digital news websites, will likely soon be captured by Facebook’s content editors. One thing is for certain, if Facebook manages to become a publisher, their editors will become the most powerful members of press we have ever seen.

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