If you’re one of Facebook’s 1 billion active users, chances are you will have noticed something different the last few times you’ve logged in.
Instant Articles, a programme designed for mobile users, pushes full articles directly to Facebook, meaning users need never leave the Facebook app and click through to a website to view their favourite content.
This rise of syndicated content hosted on social platforms could be a potentially disruptive model that will continue to ensure views of the content, but could spell the end of traditional websites, particularly for established media brands.
Adding fuel to the fire is a news website called NowThis, that allows you to “like and follow NowThis everywhere”, and a leading example of the brave new “homeless media”.
Rejecting a traditional website in place of hosting all of their content on various social media platform, NowThis is promoting a new model of hosting and monetising content through third-party social media platforms, without any need for users to ever click through.
While current media organisations are posting content on social media in a grapple for more views, the emerging ‘homeless media’ are on the rise, rejecting the humble website and operating a syndicate content model that places a huge pressure on established media brands.
Established brands including the Washington Post, CNN, Vox, and Buzzfeed are already taking steps towards this new model, publishing directly to social networks, and employing teams dedicated to creating Snapchat content.
Depositing your content where your audience spend a large portion of time doesn’t seem like the worst idea, but there is still a case for keeping your website.
As with former frontrunners of social media, Facebook may not be around forever so investing so much into the platform could prove detrimental. Secondly, Facebook is out of the realms of control of the users, which includes the brands publishing their content. This means the functionality, design and user interface of Facebook could change at any time – and not necessarily in line with your business needs.
Finally, a website is still the most effective way to deliver information to your audience. So while media brands may face a tough decision regarding the rapid rise of syndicated content, for most brands it isn’t time to say goodbye to your website just yet.