Facebook, news publishers, and the ‘demand’ for video


Facebook traffic and engagement is way down for so many small to medium size publishers… and some bigger ones too. And the whole video thing is nuts.

In my opinion, Facebook has and still is creating a fake ‘demand’ for video. Video only looks so popular because Facebook’s algorithm is making it that way. I believe it intentionally prioritises and shows us all more and more video so there is a corresponding meteoric rise in video views.

It’s not so much people demanding or liking videos more now than ever before, it’s Facebook forcing it upon people in their news feed, which has led to publishers feeling obliged and under pressure to produce more of it. And at a very high price.

When Facebook changes its strategy or achieves its aims from doing this, it could (and probably will) just as easily reverse the ‘demand’ for or ‘popularity’ of video. This will leave publishers without deep pockets and an agile setup in a difficult spot.

I feel for the many social media managers out there scratching their heads wondering what they did wrong as they watch social traffic seemingly disappear, and their KPIs tumbling month on month. It must be stressful, depressing, and worrying.

Those publishers without the tools and resources to serve Facebook’s current video strategy are going to struggle. Some publishers will no doubt plough cash into paid social to boost posts more and more often in a desperate attempt to fill the void of the evaporating organic reach they once were gifted by Facebook. I’m not sure this is a sustainable solution for many.

I fear it’s going to be a bleak and harsh winter of Facebook media publishing discontent in 2017.


on Matt Navarra on Medium



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