Is Facebook Striking A Faustian Bargain With Publishers?

400-04209518 © danomyte Model Release: No Property Release: No Making a deal with the devil, a bad partnershipFacebook’s CPO, Chris Cox, recently announced that they are offering publishers and media companies to host their articles and videos on Facebook. How it would work is that publishers “simply send (their) pages to Facebook that would live inside the social network’s mobile app and be hosted by its servers”. That way, they would load quickly with ads that Facebook sells.

This kind of social media beguiling has been the dominant topic of conversations among people in publishing industry today. And so far, their courtship is paying off as more and more media companies are now coming out for a trip to the market to choose which social media sites and messaging apps could host their content instead. 

While smaller publications with adequate circulations might find Facebook’s deal an option, it would be like letting the platform take over the steering wheel from a skilled driver. By just simply hosting publishers’ content directly, Facebook would not only become today’s printing press and courier, but it could also chomp on ad revenue for publishers like all other media platforms that have similar business models today.

If it means anything, Cox insists that while Facebook wants to be a newspaper for its 1.3 billion users, it doesn’t want to take the role of newspapers, magazines and digital publishing sites: “We don’t want to devour and suck in the Internet. It’s not what people are asking for.”

The New York Times came up with a report that BuzzFeed, National Geographic and the Times are the initial partners in this Facebook project. It’s expected to rollout in the coming months.

While others warn publishers not to give the key away to the social media giant (as if it’s a faustian bargain), here’s a video of Peter Kafka’s interview with Buzzfeed founder, Jonah Perreti, discussing why Buzzfeed is compelled to take on this Facebook deal with publishers.


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