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Facebook courts broadcasters, publishers as stickier content push ramps up

Facebook?s expansion of its Live platform to allow streaming from all sources, not just smartphones, and its Instant Articles to be available to all publishers presents a significant shift in content consumption in which media brands are reaching consumers where they are, instead of urging users to come to their platforms. 

Instant Articles and Facebook Live are changing the way publishers are distributing content and eliminating the need for content providers to strive to bring consumers over to their properties. While the changes can make it more difficult for marketers and publishers to have complete control of their cohesive brand image, the opportunity it provides cannot be missed and those that do not adapt will be left behind. 

"Facebook has been a significant force in the publishing landscape for quite a long time now," said Gil Regev, chief marketing officer at Marfeel. "Many of our content publishers have been seeing a big portion of their referral traffic coming from the social network. 

"Instant Articles is Facebook's new attempt to go head to head with the likes of Google AMP and Apple News, trying to dominate the mobile Web," he said. "What that means for publishers is they now have one more channel for distribution, which gives them access to wider audiences and new audience sectors. 

"What it also means is a continuous maintenance of yet another new channel and loss of a centralized, cohesive brand equity, they previously could offer, presenting only their own mobile channel, which they had better creative and monetizing control over, i.e. a mobile Web site or a native app."

Facebook establishing its platform
Publishers are flocking to Facebook after its recent news, which reveals the social media application will be more of a publishing distributor and means a big shift in the way users will consume media. While Facebook Instant Article currently allows publishing partners access to the optimized platform, it will now open up to include any publisher. 

Facebook Live will now allow those streaming on recording devices other than smartphones the chance to broadcast live on the app. This means that professionals can recreate a quality, television-like viewing experience directly within the app, a tactic that Twitter is also tapping into with its recent deal with the NFL. 

?This is huge,? said Paul Berry, founder and CEO at RebelMouse. ?This ushers us into a brave new era that most people are calling Distributed Publishing. 

?Facebook spent the previous 3-5 years becoming a traffic firehose to the open Web. Now most users are going to stay in Facebook to read this content,? he said. ?There is just no way the open Web can replicate the experience of reading an article the way Facebook can with Instant Articles. 


Nielsen is partnering in the latest launch, which will give content creators a greater handle on the number of viewings and ratings. In the beginning, Facebook's attempt to partner more closely with media firms encountered a speed bump after disparities were revealed between ad revenue on the platform and publishers' own sites, forcing the social media giant to search for new innovations (see more).

Partners in publishing
Online streaming series Daily Burn is an early partner that will be broadcasting its morning show on Facebook through the Live feature. Digital publication Dangerous Minds will be tapping into Instant Articles by leveraging Marfeel?s new solution that maintain and optimize content on the platform for better performance and cohesiveness. 


RebelMouse has also developed a solution in partnership with Facebook that looks at analytics and social ecosystems to help publish articles to the platform. 

Staples, Fandango, 1800Flowers and CNN were among the first brands to reach out directly to Facebook Messenger?s large audience as part of a chatbot push that was also announced Tuesday at an annual meeting Facebook holds for its developers (see more). 

Given Facebook's high consumption on mobile, and the noticeable trend in consumers engagement in live content on Facebook, allowing for fully produced show content to stream in it's entirely via API integration is a significant opportunity for Facebook and its users.

Similarly for publishers and marketers, this new offering allows a whole new way to reach both prospective and current customers with branded content and/or promotional content.

?Given Facebook's high consumption on mobile, and the noticeable trend in consumers engagement in live content on Facebook, allowing for fully produced show content to stream in it's entirely via API integration is a significant opportunity for Facebook and its users,? said Kevin Ranford, vice president of marketing at Daily Burn. ?Similarly for publishers and marketers, this new offering allows a whole new way to reach both prospective and current customers with branded content and/or promotional content.

?Being a first-mover leveraging a new technology launch like this one comes with the challenge of learning fast and executing on strategy fast,? he said. ?At Daily Burn, we have an intimate knowledge of live streaming functionality as we already produce a live daily streaming show, we have the skilled staff already in place to move quickly on this kind of opportunity, which worked well for us launching live the morning after the F8 announcement on API access.?