It all started in late fall, when everyone from Business Insider to BuzzFeed to HuffPo saw their Facebook referral traffic double or triple overnight. It was all in the name of surfacing more high-quality content that users craved, Facebook claimed.
Simultaneously, Facebook launched Paper, a standalone “social newspaper” app that allows deep, immersive content consumption. Then, in February, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a record $19 billion as content engagement through chat apps is on the rise.
According to the company, WhatsApp processes 500 million images each day, compared to 350 million on Facebook and 55 million on Instagram. Suddenly, Facebook owns an almost trillion-image empire between the three apps at a time when visual content is dominating the web — particularly among young people.
So what does it all mean?
I think Facebook wants to govern content distribution and all the paid content distribution dollars that go with it. That doesn’t just mean articles, but increasingly, visual content as well.
Everyone knows that Facebook is the biggest referrer of social traffic, but a lot of people don’t realize how big the gap is between Facebook and competing platforms … Facebook absolutely crushes the competition — especially Twitter, whose reputation for content distribution is perhaps a bit undeserved.
Read the article in full at Contently …