Reports

The Facebook-Media Relationship Status: It's Complicated

27 September 2016

Free for Members

US$695 Value

Summary:

At the intersection of Facebook and news media sits a complex and intertwined relationship. In this report, INMA analyses Facebook and its related platforms and puts them in the broader context of how consumers use social media. The report explains how Facebook’s algorithms work, surveys publishers about their relationship with Facebook, and explores strategies to use Facebook to engage readers and generate advertising revenue.

Key themes in the report:

  • What Facebook does and how it works

  • The market position of all Facebook platforms, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp

  • Major usage trends and patterns worldwide

  • Facebook’s News Feed algorithms

  • Academic research on people’s use of social platforms and the effects that social platforms have on them

  • Facebook’s complicated relationship with the news industry, punctuated by a survey of news publishers about this relationship

  • How media companies use Facebook, including acquisition of customers and advertising opportunities

  • Possible strategies for media companies moving forward

Who should read the report:

Stakeholders in media companies’ digital strategy, notably social media, distributed content, and the Facebook relationship. Should be mandatory reading for media company CEOs and digital executives.

Author:

Grzegorz “Greg” Piechota is a research associate at Harvard Business School in the United States who is studying technology-enabled disruption patterns across industries, including news media. A 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Piechota explored the transformation of the media business and the future of work in creative industries.

In addition, Piechota serves as a digital strategy adviser at Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza (Agora) and consults with media companies worldwide. He is a member of the INMA Board of Directors and is a past president of INMA’s Europe Division.

Piechota is a former news editor of Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza. A law school graduate, he began his career at Gazeta Wyborcza in 1996 as a reporter at the tiniest provincial office, rising to head of its multi-media newsroom and vice president of Agora Foundation.

Detailed overview:

“The Facebook-Media Relationship Status: It’s Complicated” aims to provide an executive-level overview of how the social media giant intersects with news publishers as of late 2016.

In this report, INMA:

  • Breaks down the practical audience, advertising, editorial, and customer service implications of working with Facebook.

  • Jumps into the consumer’s mind as it relates to Facebook.

  • Attempts to thoughtfully address the fast-emerging role of algorithms.

  • Puts Facebook in the broader context of platforms, technology, and disruption.

  • Makes suggestions on strategies for news media companies, mindful that this is complex, it is international, and no two companies are alike.

Author Grzegorz “Greg” Piechota brilliantly fuses the world of news media and academia to suggest a thoughtful partnership between Facebook and news media companies – a relationship that should be based on transparency and mutual support.

The report focuses on eight key areas:

  1. What Facebook does and how it works

  2. The market position of all Facebook platforms, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp

  3. Major usage trends and patterns worldwide

  4. Facebook’s News Feed algorithms

  5. Academic research on people’s use of social platforms and the effects that social platforms have on them

  6. Facebook’s complicated relationship with the news industry, punctuated by a survey of news publishers about this relationship

  7. How media companies use Facebook, including acquisition of customers and advertising opportunities

  8. Possible strategies for media companies moving forward

“No subject today occupies the minds of news media executives like the relationship with Facebook, the primary driver of digital traffic for publishers worldwide,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “This new report thoughtfully explores the totality of the relationship, serving as an executive overview and a strategy blueprint.”