Weve already seen the first steps towards this total cyber domination with the new way Facebook plays video. Facebook has been so effective at hosting video that brands such as PopSugar have had their views jump from 20,000 to 18.5 million in just a few months. Brands can even embed Facebook videos into their website — as Buzzfeed did with their Obama selfie video — to ensure that all traffic still manages to engage with Facebook. Comparatively, linking to a Youtube video on Facebook, as opposed to posting directly to Facebook, produces weaker results.
Although Zuckerberg seems poised to take over Youtube, his company has also made a few interesting strides into written content which could completely change the game for businesses — especially for startups who struggle to find an enthusiastic, engaged, and large follower-base.
Much like with its video content, Facebook wants to discourage users clicking away from the newsfeed by hosting written articles directly on their site. Even at the risk of losing control of the brand, this is an an awesome opportunity to promote a startup. Granted, if Facebook has as much success with publishers regarding video content as they do with written content, we could expect to see this trickle down into small business pages.
Everything Old is New Again
Facebook actually tried this once before with the infamous Social Reader. Although Social Readers gave publishers more control over branding and design and helped jump the Washington Posts readers to over 4 million, pressure from users forced the social network to change their algorithm to reduce visibility from Social Readers. Now, Chris Cox and Facebooks products team are trying again.
Wait, why is this good for Startups again?
Sure, it may be true that big brands who adopt Facebooks content hosting services will now be even bigger, but Facebook has been pretty good at rewarding quality content that the community engages with. Not only will this encourage startup brands to create higher quality content (whether it be video or written), it will also allow startups to reach audiences similar to the Facebook users engaging with their posts. The true magic of Facebook is that its behavior tracking will allow them to place articles and videos in newsfeeds that are similar to user interest or the interests of their friends.
Furthermore — startups, with their small social media teams, are able to more quickly adapt and integrate themselves into emergent content platforms, so theyll be able to get a head-start on leveraging Facebook as part of their content strategy.
So, startups, how much traffic is your own hosted blog truly getting? Even the White House is switching to hosting their content on Facebook. If youre a startup, whats worth more — having 100% control over your branding or sacrifice a little bit of that to reach as many potential users as possible?
Dont think of embracing Facebook as joining the Dark Side. Facebook wants you and your users to stay on their site, so theyll do all they can to keep you.