Handelsblatt: German publishers cozy up to weather social media storm. “Seven of Germany’s largest publishers unveiled a new powerhouse alliance that they hope will bolster print media against the growing dominance of social media. Three of Germany’s three largest media groups — Burda, Bauer and Funke Group — have joined forces with other well-known imprints such as Axel Springer and Spiegel Publishing, behind the investigative magazine Der Spiegel, in what’s being called a ‘publishers coalition’.”
Splitsider: How Facebook Is Killing Comedy. “Last month, in its second round of layoffs in as many years, comedy hub Funny or Die reportedly eliminated its entire editorial team following a trend of comedy websites scaling back, shutting down, or restructuring their business model away from original online content. Hours after CEO Mike Farah delivered the news via an internal memo, Matt Klinman took to Twitter, writing, ‘Mark Zuckerberg just walked into Funny or Die and laid off all my friends.'” This is a good read but FYI there is a bit of swearing.
Nieman Lab: If Facebook stops putting news in front of readers, will readers bother to go looking for it?. “The idea that the value of a piece of news is defined by likes and comments — that taking in information without getting into a back-and-forth with your uncle about it is somehow unworthy — is actually a profoundly ideological statement.”
New York Times: Facebook Overhauls News Feed to Focus on What Friends and Family Share. “Facebook has introduced sweeping changes to the kinds of posts, videos and photos that its more than two billion members will see most often, saying on Thursday that it would prioritize what their friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands.”
Digiday: Facebook will ‘completely deprioritize publishers’: Confessions of a publisher audience development head. “Many of the publishers that spent 2016 and 2017 investing in Facebook products like Instant Articles and news feed videos enter the new year with new perspective on the relationship they have with the world’s largest social platform. For the latest installment of our Confessions series, in which we exchange anonymity for candor, we spoke to an audience development head at a midsize digital publisher that resisted the temptation to go all-in on those products. The conversation has been condensed.” Please don’t tell me you’re shocked by this.
Recode: Google is sending more traffic than Facebook to publishers — again. “Google used to be the main source of referral traffic for web publishers. Then Facebook eclipsed it. And now, Google is back on top again. Over the course of 2017, the search engine has become publishers’ main source of external page views, according to new data from Parse.ly, a digital analytics company.”
Niemanlab: Are you a low-quality web page? (Are you sure?) Facebook sheds a little light on its algorithm . “Facebook … went ahead on Tuesday and, at an event at CUNY in New York, released a set of ‘News Feed Publisher Guidelines’ that aim to decipher the News Feed algorithm a bit and help publishers better understand ‘content guidelines, quality guidelines, and community standards to aid your efforts to find and engage your audience on News Feed.’ (In other words, do this or we’ll bump your stuff to the secondary feed. Haha! Just kidding.) The panel included a discussion between Facebook News Feed VP Adam Mosseri and CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis.”