Ken Wisnefski penned an article in Jim Cramer’s TheStreet.com on Facebook’s new Instant Articles. Below is an excerpt:
…Social media sites are also vying to keep eyeballs on their own sites so they can serve up ads. As such, they really have no incentive to send people away to other sites like the New York Times, and also no legal obligation to explain their algorithm changes to anyone. According to a Pew Research Center report, people visiting news sites via a link on Facebook spent an average of 1 minute and 41 seconds; it’s about the same when that site is reached via a search engine. Facebook looks at that as 1:41 seconds that they miss out on serving ads to those folks. The solution for Facebook? – Host the content on their site and cut down on time people spend browsing around those other news sites. It’s a total win for Facebook, even if they have to share some of the ad revenue with the news outlet.
Is it a solution for the news sites though? While a significantly higher percentage of younger folks (under 34) came to news sites through a Facebook link than directly through a bookmark or url, they don’t stay very long nor do they return all that often. So news sites seem to be willing to trade some site traffic for assurances that their stories are seen by a younger demographic.