How Facebook plans to take over content

How Facebook Plans To Take Over Content

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Mark Zuckerberg and his team have always had a long-term vision for Facebook, a vision that seems to expand with every passing year. This platform is increasingly close to becoming an all-in-one social media outlet so that our online experience, especially when it comes to content, develops mainly within this blue and grey social media dominator.

According to one of the latest reports by the agency Parse.ly, published early September of this year, Facebook has officially overtaken Google as the main source of traffic. Meaning that the big news sites and online content portals receive more visitors from Facebook than from any other website – including Google search pages. Jaw dropping, right?

parsely chart google vs fb

Back in September, Facebook launched a tool called Signal, which aims to overshadow Twitter as a platform for real time access to news and announcements. Facebook also launched Instant Articles, another project aiming to eclipse Twitter by allowing mainstream media to publish their content directly onto the social network without links.

The ambition to dominate continues with the recent revamp to the notes section on Facebook. In order to finally crown itself as the hub of all content on the Internet, Facebook wants you to start blogging within their platform. Just to give you an idea of the power of blogging: Did you know that 60 new blogs and around 1,500 posts are created every minute? According to Worldometers, about 4 million blog entries are published every day. Facebook wants in on all this content posting – they want users to create, read and share content without leaving their platform. That is the main reason behind its new interface for notes.

What does the new note interface consist of? 

FB notes 2015

Above is a screenshot of the new Facebook notes look and design. If you’ve ever tested out or worked with the blog publishing platform Medium, you’ll come to realise that some of its characteristics and even visual aspects are similar to the Facebook notes revamp:

  • The primary image is enlarged as a header
  • The size and extent of the title is expanded
  • Formatting elements are added (bold, italic, etc.) with a system markup similar to that of wikicode (for example, enclosing a word with two asterisks makes it cursive)
  • It allows bloggers to tag people and add hashtags
  • It allows users to “like,” comment and share.

What advantages does the revamped Facebook notes have for bloggers?

With this revamp, Facebook is essentially inserting itself in the world of blogging platforms and competing with Blogger and WordPress, among others. Facebook already has more than 1500 million users. These are the users Facebook is counting on to become bloggers and readers of its revamped notes section.

I’m sure the Facebook development team asked themselves, “Why use an external service or platform and then take an extra step to share it on Facebook, when it can be done directly?” That question is a strong motivation for the powerful social media platform to try to attract bloggers and make them switch over, that and the commodity, immediacy and organic reach potential.

In my humble opinion, I think this revamp will have growing success. It will be received more and more by those who have never blogged but have the curiosity to start. Given its simplicity and the fact that it’s already integrated with the social media platform, it’s just an added incentive that doesn’t require the user to register externally. It might also very well attract those who have several thematic blogs and who want to publish their opinions or stories to reach those 1500 million.

When it comes to organic reach, we all know Facebook has internal algorithms to determine what content is shown to its users. It’s safe to presume that this new revamp will favour publications that are created within its own notes section and it will carry more weight than external links on users’ newsfeeds and timelines. This means that social media marketers will want to incorporate publications via Facebook as part of their social media strategies.

The next big plus is a strong base for interaction. Given that it will all be integrated within this powerful social media platform, the likes and comments of these microblogs are more frequent and visible. In the end (and putting aside SEO rankings and monetisation via ads as well as traffic statistics) what bloggers tend to appreciate is being read and being responded to. This new notes section gives way to that.

And the downside?

The main downside that many might frown upon is the fact that content published via these microblogs will not be yours, but rather they will be the property of Facebook. Given the policies that users agree to by using their platform, Facebook can essentially use content as they please. They can make money by inserting ads in your content pages without sharing any of the capital with you, or maybe conceding to a commission they see fit.

After reading all this, it’s up to you if you want to get on board with Facebook’s attempt at dominating content.

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