Facebook as you may have heard has announced that they will start giving posts by people you know, priority over posts from The “official” pages of the many media outlets out there. This has resulted in quite a few “ Chicken Little” type comments around the net. Its easy to see why. Over 40% of web traffic referrals come from Facebook. This gains even more importance when you understand that a large and growing segment of society gets their news online. However there are at least two big reasons that this development is not the media Armageddon you might think.
Change is part of life on the net- Early adopters will remember Compuserve. It was THE way most people got on the net coming out of the days of bulletin board gateways. Then AOL was king of the heap. Practically everybody on the web was on AOL. Now almost every house on the average block probably has a different provider. Even in the early days of SEO everything was about links, links, links. There was time brief time when it didn't seem like there could be such a thing as a bad link. Even now, the right links can be very important ! Then it was all about search engines. First came Yahoo, and more recently Google. Even with almost half of web traffic referrals coming from Facebook, search engines are still very much in play. The point is if you are going to make it in the world of the web, you are going to have to learn to change as the web changes. The majority of media sites out there already understand this. I have no doubt that they will stronger, not weaker coming out of this change.
Journalists and Editors have Personal Pages too. - Facebook's change will bump a story down a users newsfeed coming from the outlet's official page. However the change will actually make the story higher in the newsfeed of the “friends” on a reporter or editor's own Facebook page. As these friends share the article, and those people's friends share the article you can still be reaching an awful lot of people !! Here at Faithinspires.Org for example, every article goes out to both my Facebook page and FaithInspires's Facebook page. So when our articles go out from my page they will be getting ranked higher on 5,000 newsfeeds without us even doing anything different !
Will there be changes in the way the media interacts with people on Facebook ? Absolutely ! Will some outlets lose ad revenue if only temporarily ? With the way publishing works these days, that's possible no matter what Facebook chooses to do or not do. Will SEO specialists have to alter their strategies to take this change into account ? Yes but that is what they do. Is it the end of the world for the media on the web ? I seriously doubt it !