Pick of the Week: News Organizations + Facebook = BFF

Last week, Facebook announced a new version of its profile called Timeline and a number of new ventures. Facebook wants to become THE “go-to” media hub, and this was another move in that direction.
“It is teaming up with companies that distribute music, movies, information and games in positioning itself to become the conduit where news and entertainment is found and consumed. Its new partners include Netflix and Hulu for video, Spotify for music, The Washington Post and Yahoo for news, Ticketmaster for concert tickets and a host of food, travel and consumer brands.” (NYTimes.com)

Facebook has become a major player in the news business.
“Facebook is thinking…. about how to get current users to live more of their lives within its virtual walls. One answer it has come up with: asking a select number of news outlets to produce “Facebook editions” — basically, app versions of themselves that can be read and consumed right there on Facebook. About a dozen news outlets are currently participating, including CNN, the Washington Post and The Daily….  (Forbes.com)

Last week, The Washington Post Company launched its new Facebook app.
“Dubbed Washington Post Social Reader, the app allows users to read and share news articles from partner media outlets within the Facebook ecosystem itself. That means that when using the app, you won’t have to follow shared links out to other web sites to access content; all of it can be read on Facebook.” (Wired.com)

The Wall Street Journal also launched a new Facebook project, called WSJ Social.
“WSJ Social… filters Journal content through the so-called social graph to yield a news product that lives entirely within the walls of Facebook…. it’s also about reimagining newspaper reading as an inherently social experience. Users choose whose streams they want to follow — the official ones produced by the paper’s, and each other’s — and that determines what stories they see. (Forbes.com)

Yahoo is taking a slightly different approach.
“It’s exporting Facebook’s functionality to its network on the theory that having readers consume Yahoo’s content on Yahoo’s network will produce both a better experience for users and an overall greater increase in consumption of Yahoo content.” (Fast Company)

Why are news organizations doing this?
“Americans spend 22.5 percent of their time online visiting social networks and blogs, and only 2.6 percent of their time learning about current events. And among the social sites, of course, none is more time-consuming than Facebook: In May alone, the site sucked up over 53 billion minutes of Americans’ time.” (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Finally, Facebook wants you, the journalist, to use their site for reporting and publishing.
Read What Facebook’s latest updates mean for journalists by Vadim Lavruskik, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Facebook thinks this is good for their business. Is this a good thing for news companies? Is it good for the audience and news consumers? Is it useful for you personally?

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