There are two products that Facebook has launched meant to damn everything. As Miguel of Forbes puts it in reference to Facebook’s Instant Articles, “we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We are more damned if we don’t”. I haven’t seen the instant articles as currently they are only available for iPhone users.
Facebook Instant Articles Damns us, you and everything else
This is the new feature that damns the online news publishers, bloggers like me, and you. It damns us because it provides a more user friendly way to interact with content. Miguel describes the feature as extremely good it will change the game of online news publishing. The feature allows content to load beautifully fast. The way the user interacts with the article and individual elements within the articles are fulfilling and amazingly satisfactory. For those who have tried the feature, they all agree that reading articles within Facebook Instant Article is more impressive than reading the same story from the original source e.g. New York Times.
That damns us. This is why. As online publishers we want you to read our works on our platforms. I want you to read this article here, in this website. That is the reason I will not reproduce this entire article on our Facebook Page or my personal Facebook Timeline. That’s why I don’t want to send it in its entirety to your email. I want you to read it here so that my traffic goes up. That helps me to market our blog site as a preferred destination for tech stories. Helps me to make some cash at the end of the month.
Now, Facebook has brought this Instant Articles feature that will allow Facebook users to read articles from within Facebook. Let’s assume that our competition will go and publish articles using the Instant Articles feature thus allowing you to read their articles on your Facebook News Feed, which means at the end they’ll lose some traffic on their website, will I be happy because they lost some traffic? No. Why? Because readers will find this place not as impressive and attractive as reading the competition’s article on Facebook’s News Feed, so at the end I’ll lose more traffic than the competition that opted for the Instant Article feature.
The competition on the other hand, although they would have lost traffic to their website, they would have gained some Facebook traffic thanks to their articles that were published using the Instant Article feature. To catch up, I and the rest of us will be forced to use the Instant Articles feature. Then we all will be left in the mercies of Facebook’s algorithms to determine which articles readers can access – which ultimately will depend on who has the deepest advertising pockets.
Damn us, damn you – that’s what the Instant Articles is all about.
Add a Link – that’s how Facebook damns Google
Two days ago another Facebook feature was rolled in US, the Facebook Add a Link feature – And this is the feature that wants you to use less of Google and more of Facebook. “We’re piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to WIRED. “Simply put: This is Facebook’s in-app, in-house search engine. And it’s a potential nightmare for Google”, WIRED explained.
Let me explain. How would you go about sharing this article to your friends on Facebook? You could just hit the Facebook share button above or below this article. Now, that’s when you are in this article. What if you are posting a comment to a Facebook status and you want to quote part of this article then insert the link to the rest of the article? You’ll have your Facebook open in one tab (or App if you are on mobile), open this article in another tab, copy, paste, come back, copy link, paste link – that’s a hell lot of work right? Sure it is.
How does Google come in when using the process above? When you want to share that quote or link, you realize you don’t remember the exact website or URL. You seek Google’s help with that. But with the new Add a Link in Facebook, you could do the “search” within Facebook and simply Add a Link and you are good to go. Simple.
Again, I haven’t seen the Add a Link feature as it is still available to iPhone users in US.
Yap, that’s how we are all damned.