The platform looks to reward positive posts with more visibility and punish those who spread clickbait and low-quality journalism. What does this mean for traffic-hungry media organisations?
By Jacob Granger
More meaningful is the fact that the top 20 most-viewed domains account for just 2.2 per cent of all content views. At the very top is YouTube with 180m views that quarter, ranked 20th is a GIF provider. In between are websites like UNICEF, The Washington Post and Amazon. About half of the most-viewed domains are news publishers
“Facebook, despite its issues, is our biggest traffic provider. So we have to keep it happy,” says Hilary Mitchell, the audience editor of Pink News, an online news website aimed at LGBT+ audiences.
She has been burned before in her former role at Reach Plc’s Edinburgh Live. The publication’s Facebook account shared a post about a couple who were caught having sex on a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow and prosecuted.
The article had an image of the couple in a ‘clinch’ on a train table in November 2019. The image had been pixellated but Facebook ruled it was not enough to prevent the image from being seen as sexually explicit. Mitchell says that the post was hit with demonetisation and a year-long downgrade on the platform.
Now with Pink News, she is wary of punitive measures Facebook can take against news publishers. But the platform is too valuable to simply step away from. Pink News gets more than half (58 per cent) of its monthly traffic from Facebook. The rest is made up of search (25 per cent), Flipboard and other smaller sources (6 per cent) and internal (6 per cent).