Connect with us

SOCIAL

Meta Tells US Publishers That its Cutting Funding for News Tab Content

Published

on

Amid rising costs, and an increasingly uncertain ad market, Meta has begun informing US news publishers that it will not renew exclusive content deals with them, as it shifts away from its dedicated News Tab strategy.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal:

Meta has begun telling publishers in the US that it won’t renew contracts to feature their content in its Facebook News tab, according to people familiar with the matter […] Meta had signed up a host of publishers in recent years, including deals worth tens of millions of dollars with news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

In total, those deals are believed to be worth more than $100 million, with all of that going straight back to news publishers, providing a key lifeline, in many respects, amid the broader ad market downturn.

Now, those publications will have to find new ways to prop up their businesses – though interestingly, Meta will be maintaining payments to news publishers in the UK, France, Germany and Australia, where, at least in some cases, these payments have been enshrined into law as part of deals to secure a level of revenue share with local publishers for the use of their content.

The most high-profile example of this is in Australia, where Meta actually blocked local news outlets entirely at one stage due to a dispute over its obligation to share revenue with them, as outlined in the Australian Government’s new Media Bargaining Code.

Meta’s stance on this was that it should not have to pay ‘for content that the publishers voluntarily place on our platforms and at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers.’

And Meta’s right – Australia’s Media Bargaining Code, which powerful local publishers had lobbied for, significantly over-values the benefit that news publishers provide to Meta and its apps.

But eventually, a deal was established, which now means that Meta needs to uphold these payments as part of its ongoing obligations in the region.

Which could make backing out of its News tab entirely a difficult proposition, and Meta has said that its dedicated News content feed will remain, even with this change in funding structure.

But US publishers don’t have the same policy backing as other regions – and you can bet that Meta will also be looking to reduce other elements of funding for news publishers and journalists, which had been a significant focus in recent times (note: Meta’s also pulling support for its Bulletin newsletter platform, which it launched in April last year).

With its massive investment into the metaverse stacking up, the company’s looking to rationalize wherever it can.

Meta lost $2.8 billion on metaverse-aligned investments in the most recent quarter, while the company’s net income is at the lowest level that it’s been for two years.

Meta Q2 2022

That’s why Zuck and Co. are implementing various cost-cutting measures, including staff cuts, scaling back of in-app features (like social audio) and the abandoning of secondary projects including its smartwatch experiment and consumer Portal devices.

In some ways, this is uncharted territory for the company, which has thus far only seen growth, and it’ll be interesting to see how it adapts to tougher market conditions, and what that then means for its short-term strategies.

But what we know right now is that anything not directly connected to boosting user engagement, or the metaverse shift, is likely on the chopping block.

How long that lasts, and how far it reaches, will be dependent on broader market trends.

Source link

SOCIAL

The Most Visited Websites in the World – 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Published

on

The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

Published

on

Cheeky branding wins (and missteps)

Storyboard

Branding and rebranding is getting more fun, here we look at some of cheekiest brands that have caught our eye – for the right and wrong reasons.



Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Published

on

Google Outlines Ongoing Efforts to Combat China-Based Influence Operations Targeting Social Apps

Over the past year, Google has repeatedly noted that a China-based group has been looking to use YouTube, in particular, to influence western audiences, by building various channels in the app, then seeding them with pro-China content.

There’s limited info available on the full origins or intentions of the group, but today, Google has published a new overview of its ongoing efforts to combat the initiative, called DRAGONBRIDGE.

As explained by Google:

In 2022, Google disrupted over 50,000 instances of DRAGONBRIDGE activity across YouTube, Blogger, and AdSense, reflecting our continued focus on this actor and success in scaling our detection efforts across Google products. We have terminated over 100,000 DRAGONBRIDGE accounts in the IO network’s lifetime.

As you can see in this chart, DRAGONBRIDGE is by far the most prolific source of coordinated information operations that Google has detected over the past year, while Google also notes that it’s been able to disrupt most of the project’s attempted influence, by snuffing out its content before it gets seen.

Dragonbridge

Worth noting the scale too – as Google notes, DRAGONBRIDGE has created more than 100,000 accounts, which includes tens of thousands of YouTube channels. Not individual videos, entire channels in the app, which is a huge amount of work, and content, that this group is producing.

That can’t be cheap, or easy to keep running. So they must be doing it for a reason.

The broader implication, which has been noted by various other publications and analysts, is that DRAGONBRIDGE is potentially being supported by the Chinese Government, as part of a broader effort to influence foreign policy approaches via social media apps. 

Which, at this kind of scale, is a concern, while DRAGONBRIDGE has also targeted Facebook and Twitter as well, at different times, and it could be that their efforts on those platforms are also reaching similar activity levels, and may not have been detected as yet.

Which then also relates to TikTok, a Chinese-owned app that now has massive influence over younger audiences in western nations. If programs like this are already in effect, it stands to reason that TikTok is also likely a key candidate for boosting the same, which remains a key concern among regulators and officials in many nations.

The US Government is reportedly weighing a full TikTok ban, and if that happens, you can bet that many other nations will follow suit. Many government organizations are also banning TikTok on official devices, based on advice from security experts, and with programs like DRAGONBRIDGE also running, it does seem like Chinese-based groups are actively operating influence and manipulation programs in foreign nations.

Which seems like a significant issue, and while Google is seemingly catching most of these channels before they have an impact, it also seems likely that this is only one element of a larger push.

Hopefully, through collective action, the impact of such can be limited – but for TikTok, which still reports to Chinese ownership, it’s another element that could raise further questions and scrutiny.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish