Big Brother Is Here: Facebook Reveals Its Master Plan - Control All News Flow

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.

 

The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.

 

And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic — a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites.

 

- From the New York Times article: Facebook May Host News Sites’ Content

Last week, I came across an incredibly important article from the New York Times, which described Facebook’s plan to provide direct access to other websites’ content in exchange for some sort of advertising partnership. The implications of this are so huge that at this point I have far more questions than answers.

Let’s start with a few excerpts from the article:

With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.

 

Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.

 

Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.

 

Facebook has said publicly that it wants to make the experience of consuming content online more seamless. News articles on Facebook are currently linked to the publisher’s own website, and open in a web browser, typically taking about eight seconds to load. Facebook thinks that this is too much time, especially on a mobile device, and that when it comes to catching the roving eyeballs of readers, milliseconds matter.

 

The Huffington Post and the business and economics website Quartz were also approached. Both also declined to discuss their involvement.

 

Facebook declined to comment on its specific discussions with publishers. But the company noted that it had provided features to help publishers get better traction on Facebook, including tools unveiled in December that let them target their articles to specific groups of Facebook users, such as young women living in New York who like to travel.

 

The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.

 

And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic — a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites.

 

And just as Facebook has changed its news feed to automatically play videos hosted directly on the site, giving them an advantage compared with videos hosted on YouTube, it could change the feed to give priority to articles hosted directly on its site.

Let me try to address this the best I can from several different angles. First off, what’s the big picture plan here? As the number two ranked website in the world with 1.4 billion users, Facebook itself is already something like an alternative internet where a disturbing number of individuals spend a disproportionate amount of their time. The only thing that seems to make many of its users click away is content hosted on other people’s websites linked to from Facebook users. Other than this outside content, many FB users might never leave the site.

While this is scary to someone like me, to Facebook it is an abomination. The company doesn’t want people to leave their site ever — for any reason. Hence the aggressive push to carry outside news content, and create a better positioned alternative web centrally controlled by it. This is a huge power play move. 

Second, the New York Times righty asks the question concerning what will publishers get from Facebook for allowing their content to appear on the site seamlessly. Some sort of revenue share from advertisers seems to be an obvious angle, but perhaps there’s more.

While Facebook isn’t a huge traffic driver for Liberty Blitzkrieg, it isn’t totally irrelevant either. For example, FB provided about 3% of the site’s traffic over the past 12 months. This is despite the fact that LBK doesn’t even have a Facebook page, and I’ve never shared a link through it. Even more impressive, Facebook drove more traffic to LBK over the same time period than Twitter, and I am very active on that platform. So I can only imagine how important FB is to website editors who actually use it.

This brings me to a key point about leverage. It seems to me that Facebook has all the leverage in negotiations with content providers. If you’re a news website that refuses to join in this program, over time you might see your traffic evaporate compared to your competitors whose content will load seamlessly and be promoted by the FB algorithm. If a large percentage of your traffic is being generated by Facebook, can you really afford to lose this?

One thing that FB might be willing to offer publishers in return other than advertising dollars, is increased access to their fan base. For example, when I try to figure out through Google analytics who specifically (or what page) on Facebook is sharing my work, I can’t easily do so. Clearly this information could prove very useful for networking purposes and could be quite valuable.

Looking for some additional insight and words of wisdom, I asked the smartest tech/internet person I know for his opinion. It was more optimistic than I thought:

This could be a huge shaper of news on the internet. or it could turn out to be nothing.

 

Other than saying that I don’t really know how to predict what might or might not happen, and I sort of don’t care much because it is in the realm (for now at least) of stuff that I don’t read (mainstream news), on a site that I never see (Facebook). However, the one thing I wonder in terms of the viability of this is whether in the end it may drive people away from FB.

 

Back in the day, probably when you weren’t so aware of the nascent net, there were two giant “services” on the Internet called Compuserve and America Online. They were each what you are thinking that Facebook is heading toward; exclusive, centralized portals to the whole net. They were also giant and successful at the time. Then people outside of them started doing things that were so much more creative and interesting. At the same time, in order to make everything fit inside their proprietary boxes and categories, they were making everything ever more standardized and boring. Then they just abruptly died.

Given the enormity of what Facebook is trying to achieve, I have some obvious concerns. First, since all of the leverage seems to reside with Facebook, I fear they are likely to get the better part of any deal by wide margin. Second, if they succeed in this push, this single company’s ability to control access to news and what is trending and deemed important by a huge section of humanity will be extraordinary.

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bunnyswanson's picture

Re: Chinese - I just happened to a little bit as I was a roommate of a youg Chinese woman who married her way into America (to a Mormon missionary).  She came from Utah after, in a matter of months, her husband left her.  She was crying on her American boss' shoulder shortly thereafter and allowed him to set her up in an apartment completely furnished.  It did not work out, she said, because he expected her to sleep with him.  It was not in her plans.  She roomed with me after getting a job as an exporter at a produce operation.  I watched her, in 6 months, set up 2 export businesses and take her company's client's file and start her own exporting operation, with the 2 separate businesses bidding against each other.  She had the state of mind that she could do whatever she wanted her, that the people in this country owe her, because of her govt's generosity.  She displayed contempt toward Americans, and had no qualms in stating so.  She was the daughter of a military man who was forced to work in the fields and not pursue his talent (art).  One child policy has created little emperors and princesses. 

mtl4's picture

The debt the US owes now will never be paid back and everyone knows it just the same as in Europe.  Back in the 1980's people were scared Japan was going to own the US too but as you can see things change.  The real question is whether the US will go quietly into the sunset (ie it stays just a financial war, SWIFT vs CIPS) as power shifts or if they will start WW III as a last resort to holding onto power (against a country with nearly 5 times the population of the US).  Remember this is not a knock against the american people, it's a showcase of the lunacy of politicians and every empire dating back to the beginning of recorded time can attest to it. 

XqWretch's picture

What the FUCK are you talking about?

mvsjcl's picture

In a nutshell, there are too many spinning plates to keep them all aloft.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

What the hell is Facebook?

I can't say for sure, as I've never visited the site. Based on what I've gleaned contextually from people talking/writing about it, it appears to be a holding pen for human cattle.

Svendblaaskaeg's picture

"What the hell is Facebook?"

 

Same thing as Assbook, but for skullfuckers

GovernmentMule's picture

He who controls the data controls history.

He who controls history controls the future...

COSMOS's picture

No surprise the J-mafia is making moves on that aspect of information besides big media companies.

cherry picker's picture

Goliath = Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple

David = we the little people

Time to switch and put them back where they started.  I hear young people are moving to instagram.  That is a start.

Wehave to teach Goliath that our liberty and privacy are notto be trifled with.  Let them go broke.

yellowsub's picture

Isn't instagram owned by Facebook now?

What does it matter when these large media companies can buy whatever competition or start up they want.

The Fourth's picture

Yep.

"The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram

The Fourth's picture

Speaking of Privacy...

v1.2. March 31. Mac users have no excuses.

mvsjcl's picture

We need to go back to messages carried by pigeons.

izzee's picture

When the NYTImes published that story, 99% of the commentors on the Times site threatened to cancel their subscriptions if the Times entered into any kind of deal with Facebook.  Many felt that Facebook, which they have avoided, would thru the NYTimes, have access to their personnal data and it would be for Sale.

Jonesy's picture

Who subscribes to the JewYorkTimes these days?  Maybe you got your story mixed up.

gwar5's picture

Fuck Facebook.  FuckFace Book! FuckFuckerBerg!

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. Facebook is getting desperate.

pan's picture

But will ZH be surfaced in FB?

Bopper09's picture

The day ZH joins assface, that's the day I quit using the internet, short of buying gold and silver (My closest bullion dealer is 300 miles away, I'm in hickville Saskatchewan, unless someone can tell me of a place in Regina?)

eyesofpelosi's picture

Solution: stop using narcissist book. Stop. Cease. Just knock it off. Removing a parasite can be tough, but knowing how to not attract them is certain victory. Do not feed it. Simple. Great idea...instead of anti-social socializing on fb, go socialize with live people in person! Oh shit, somebody delete my profile like disqus did because, I had the guts to point out the obvious. Stop using these fb like sites. Join zh. Learn something. Unlearn something. Laugh a lot. Cuss. And be free. Jolly. Awake.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

It was hard to quit, used to get sauced and then revive my account...post some ZH link and rant away. I FINALLY kicked the FB habit for good, been well over a year...had to quit drinking too so take this all for what it is worth. Prep away doomers the end looks near!

XqWretch's picture

"My reccomendation to you: Start drinking heavily" -Bluto

Bopper09's picture

Whoah, whoah..... nobody said anything about quitting drinking here. 

 

The Chief's picture

That is some funny shit!

XqWretch's picture

You worded it nicely. Everyone on the fucking site is so full of themselves it is amazing. I only keep my account to keep up with some old overseas rommates. Otherwise the place disgusts me. Fucking sociopath nation.

UniqueSnowFlake's picture

I wouldn't worry about it. Facebook is the new AOL and is on it's downslope. Advertising will continue driving people away. Remember emachines? As for the NYT, they are busted and looking for any sale/exit strategy as is more and more progressive/lefty media organizations.

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Think of the add revenue.  Time to smash the buy button on this hot new stock.

TomGa's picture

Sorry, I don't "facebook." Waste of time.

PrecipiceWatching's picture

Nothing new.

 

Look at the control the Commies at Google ALREADY enjoy via their search engine dominance and Wikipedia.  Go ahead, and just TRY and enter a factual, but politically incorrect revision to the propaganda in one of their "encyclopedia" articles.

Reggie Dunlop's picture

God, it would be awful if the media was biased and controlled.... Dang....

tarabel's picture

 

 

Fairly revealing list of content providers that they are interested in. A full set of One World Kumbaya websites. The net result of this would be, or will be, to re-institute the closely-held monopoly once enjoyed by the ABC, CBS, NBC, AP, UPI syndicate.

The Spike will be back in all its original glory and the Internet will cease to be an alternative.

It might perhaps be easiest to think of this as a new Inner-net beyond which most urbanites will never stray. Couple this with Google plans for free hot spots everywhere and you have reinstituted full control for all but a very small number of those who still cherish the original dream of an Empire of Free Men.

MrSteve's picture

so just register on Facebook under a nom de plume with some free email account for junk emails and get on with downloading corporate gorp pretending to be news

czarangelus's picture

And then I stopped using Facebook, even to stay in contact with friends or coordinate parties.

christiangustafson's picture

Insects. Last Men at the End of History.

Who cares? We are the Remnant. That is all that matters.

kchrisc's picture

Using FaCIAbook makes you an agent of Zion's Stasi against yourself, family, friends, and neighbors.

The banksters need to repay us.

 

"Don't believe the hype. It's Zion."

XqWretch's picture

"The banksters need to repay us."

 

WE GET IT FFS!

mijev's picture

Maybe he got kicked off of Facebook.

bunnyswanson's picture

At the end of this road, everyone ends up in the same place.  Elimination of the middle class is underway and unless Americans force the only possible barrier to the front of the burner, 911 which statutes of limitations do not apply due to the deaths committed during a felony, there will be a tax hike that leaves you with pennies to live on.

bankonzhongguo's picture

Google has been doing this for years. Facebook is just an also-ran for the trailer park crowd. Same with Yahoo, Reddit and Twitter.

The real power in these systems is to witness in real time the trending nature of mass perception and information requests.

Just being able to see this data-flow allows you to not just know what people are "yearning for" but to give it to them - spoonfuls at a time.

Just enough to keep consuming and not getting organized to target and kill the elite.

It is Science Fiction for a very elite few and we are not in an age of competing AI yet.

Just unplug from these systems.  Ignore what they are trying to sell you.

Do you have oil interests in the Middle East?

Food interests in Ukraine?

Does any billionaire even live in your state?

Do you think your local representatives give two shits about you and your family?

It's all trivia.

Connect with your family and build a local network of folks you can trust.

All politics are local.

Consider yourself the Taliban squatting in a cave with the Google Robot Air Force flying high at 60,000 feet.

That is the world you are living in.

Never forget though.

You will always hold the ground. (At least until the Google Warbots are parked on every street corner.)

 

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

very good

 allows you to not just know what people are "yearning for

and also to know what's been proscribed for the people.

How many stories do you remember seeing about the missing Ukrainian ATC tapes?  Some office decided that the Ukrainian Deceit should not be reinforced in the minds of the people with stories about the tapes disappearance in the MSM.

 Look how much information was obtained by the immediate release of the recordings concerning the Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz.  

But the government or agency responsible for the 298 deaths on MH17 want the denouement put off as long as possible, knowing that with each passing day since the tragedy, the public's concern is a tiny bit less.  And false alibis can be constructed; testimony can be suborned; the guilty can get off and the innocent can be convicted.   It's obvious that if the ATC tapes pointed a finger at the Kremlin or the pro-Russians in Donbas, Kiev wouldn'r have misplaced them and the NYT and WaPo would have scores of stories and Op-Ed pieces in google instead of none.

But this is our world.  It was like this when I was born into it.  Though I hadn't a clue until Kennedy was shot; even then I never thought it was fatal. Watergate and Nixon's resignation was a dose of false hope.

Followed by the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the First Gulf War, Monica Lewinsky, and the Gore v Bush decision. Prognosis negative.

If you aren't seeing this, you are either ignorant, in denial, or a card-carrying neocon.  

Sooner or later you'll wake to the darkness.


me or you's picture

So that let me in the "dark" b/c I don't use Facebook.

ChargingHandle's picture

The most successful division of the nsa is Facebook. 

SIOP's picture

Yep.  Look up who/what "N-Q-Tel" is.  (its a company created by and run by the CIA)

https://www.iqt.org/about-iqt/

 

Now we look at a list of N-Q-Tels "investments". Facebook is at the top of the list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel#Investments

 

q99x2's picture

People have left the mainstream media and they will leave Facebook faster once the mainstream media arrives. Its a lose lose proposition. Besides Facebook's traffic is a FRAUD in the first place. Once FRAUD enters into society as it is now you have to use common sense to know what is really happening.

Harriet Wanger's picture

Somebody still uses Facebook?

in4mayshun's picture

Ya the baby boomers just discovered it.

FlipFlop's picture

It is for morons who like exchanging likes.....

Btw, what is the big deal with fb news? It is only about showing stuff people share, so where is the beef?

Zerohedge's credibility is sinking at incredible pace.

Next time I am worried of deluge, I will not check ZH.

A Lunatic's picture

Big Brother has been here for quite some time. Where have you been....?