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

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

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.’

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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.

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

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LinkedIn Launches ‘Document Ads’, Offline Conversion Data Integration and More

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LinkedIn Launches ‘Document Ads’, Offline Conversion Data Integration and More

LinkedIn has announced some new ad tools to help you maximize your LinkedIn campaigns, including Document Ads, offline conversion data integration, and a new Media Library for storing and sourcing ad content.

First off, on Document Ads – as it sounds, LinkedIn will now enable advertisers to promote long-form documents direct in user feeds, which can also be made available via sign-up to maximize response data.

As you can see in this example, LinkedIn’s Document Ads provide a preview in the feed (three pages in this instance), in order to entice users to download the full research piece.

If you choose to add a lead-gen form, you can gather more insight about the people who are interested in your documents, while you can also make your document free to download from the promoted update, with LinkedIn then able to provide data on which members downloaded it.

The format could help marketers capitalize on the popularity of LinkedIn’s Carousel posting option, which enables users to share a document in a post that users can then scroll through in-stream.

LinkedIn made Carousel posts available as an official option back in July, though users had actually been creating their own document carousels for some time, by uploading a PDF as a post attachment, which essentially facilitates the same functionality.

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And the format has proven to be effective. According to insights from SocialInsider, native documents and Carousels generate 3x more clicks than any other type of content in the app (even video posts).

LinkedIn carousel example

Given this, Document Ads could be a good addition, likely worthy of an experiment the next time you have a longer piece to share in the app.

LinkedIn’s also added the capacity to include Offline Conversion data within your ad process in the app.

Offline Conversions enables you to connect the offline conversions you track via other tools directly to LinkedIn. You can manually upload CSV files directly to Campaign Manager or leverage a LinkedIn Marketing Partner. Supported partners include Adverity, HubSpot, LeadsBridge, LiveRamp, and Make.”

The process enables you to include additional performance data, like in-person transactions, phone calls, or sales in your CRM, within your LinkedIn campaign measurement and optimization process. Which could be a good way to improve response, based on data matching, helping to better focus LinkedIn’s targeting on the right elements.

Finally, LinkedIn’s also adding a new Media Library option, where you’ll be able to save all of the media elements that you use in your LinkedIn campaigns.

The media library is a single location for uploading, managing, and selecting media for ad creation, which helps you save time, drive better performance, and improve collaboration.”

Similar to media library options in other apps, LinkedIn will now provide a repository for your ad creative, which will then make it easier to reuse and repurpose ad content in new campaigns.

For example:

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You can create up to five ads at once; all you have to do is select the image or video you want to use (or re-use) from the media library and each will become its own ad. Since any marketer with the necessary permissions can access an account’s media library, it also makes collaborating with teammates within a single account much easier.”

Advertisers will be able to access the Media Library within the campaign creation process for single image ads and video ads, though you won’t be able to access it outside of this.

Some worthy additions, which could help to enhance your LinkedIn marketing approach.

You can download a guide to LinkedIn’s Document Ads here, find out more info on setting up offline conversions here, and get more insights into the new Media Library at this link.

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