Facebook Said in Talks With Publishers on Hosting ContentGerry Smith and Sarah Frier
Facebook Inc. has approached several publishers, including the Huffington Post, about hosting content directly on the social network, according to people familiar with the matter.
The plan would be a shift in the relationship between the world’s biggest social-networking service and media outlets, which use Facebook to drive traffic to their sites and help boost revenue from online advertising. Facebook is proposing that publishers post directly to its platform, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
Facebook is in talks with the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic about hosting their articles or videos directly on the social network, the New York Times reported Monday. In February, the Times said it nominated Rebecca Van Dyck, global head of consumer and brand marketing at Facebook, to join its board.
Facebook has been working to increase the quality of the news content on its feed, weeding out posts that it deems to be click bait or link bait. The Menlo Park, California-based company has also been emphasizing news with partnerships for its Paper application, a magazine-style Facebook experience. Meanwhile, publishers are eager to get their stories to appear on its News Feed.
Last month, Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, said at a media conference that the social network had early conversations with publishers about hosting their content. Their concern is lack of control, Cox added.
“Reading news on a smartphone is still a very bad experience most of the time,” Cox said at the Code/Media conference. “We want to try and make that a better experience for publishers.”