Aggregated Content: Here comes Facebook

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facebook newsTo follow on from our article from a couple of weeks ago, confirmation has come out over the weekend that Facebook  are working on a social reader to rival that of FlipBoard, Zite and Pulse.  Initially it was expected that the news on the 20th of June would focus on this, however instead it focused on video integration into Instagram.

However this rumor hasn’t died and it seems to be for good reason. The Wall Street Journal yesterday released an article stating that Facebook are working on a new social reader tool called “Reader” {very creative!}.   And according to people in the know, they have been working on this tool for over a year.   As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this seems to be an obvious step for Facebook and I am surprised that it has taken them this long to enter the market.

The key benefit of news aggregrators is that it allows their audience to furnish all of their media needs from within one location or app.  This is the nerve that FlipBoard, Pulse and Zite has hit.  Since the core of the Facebook business model is to have their members spend longer in their eco system it seems only natural that they plug all the holes of all the reasons that their existing audience leave their site.  One of the main holes is “News”.  To date the vast majority of Facebook readers do not source their news from within Facebook.

By addressing this obvious need they will definitely retain their audiences attention for longer.  They are attacking the likes of Flipboard and Zite with their own model.   A news aggregrator USP is ‘get all your news in one place’  while Facebook model can say ‘get all your social news in one place, social and media needs’. Facebook can offer more than just media news, they can truly deliver all news, from social to media news.


What interests me is that Facebook have been working on this product for over a year.  I am keen to see what’s produced by one of the hottest and largest  development teams in this space after a year. I hope that they evolve their methods of advertising within the reader to reflect more of  magazine-esque advertising rather than the dated banner advertising that they currently use.

One thing that Facebook have that will scare other competitive solution such as FlipBoard, Zite and Pulse is that they have a wealth of knowledge of the tastes and interests of every single member of Facebook.  If they launch a product with collaborative filtering or personalization automatically activated then I think they will steal a lot of the market share.   From day one, the news is tailored to your interest. It would require no immediate installation, preference specifications.  They all ready have everything they need.

By Paul Mc Nulty


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