Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
28 October 2019
What does Facebook News have brand permission to do?
Brand permission means what the brand has permission to do, judged by how it’s perceived and what it promises. Therefore, what are we to make of the upcoming Facebook News service?
Yes, despite all the questions about security and fake news, Facebook is testing a service that brings new sources together. Such as The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed and USA Today.
Facebook seems desperate to make Facebook News work, offering up to $3 million in licensing fees to publishers. A news portal makes sense as studies demonstrate that the public is more engaged with news than even just a few years ago.
Basically, we’re all hungry for news.
So, a social media platform like Facebook makes sense, right? Not so fast. Not when usage on Facebook drops because of it selling user information and playing loose with what news gets shared.
“I’m not sure many of would trust Facebook News even with the aforementioned news outlets. We’d wonder who’s curating the damn thing and how much manipulation we can stand.”
The Facebook brand doesn’t help Facebook News
That is, I’m not sure many of would trust Facebook News even with the aforementioned news outlets. We’d wonder who’s curating the damn thing and how much manipulation we can stand.
A report from the Pew Research Center says 62% of American already believe social media outlets like Facebook own too much control over the news as it is.
The questions Facebook must answer are 1) will this provide more engagement with the social platform and 2) does the Facebook brand, as it stands now, have permission to be a news curator?
Obviously, Facebook believes the answer to the first questions is yes, otherwise it wouldn’t be developing Facebook News.
As for the second, no, I don’t believe it has brand permission to curate news. Not for a minute. Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook News won’t provide data to advertisers. Do we really believe that?
Facebook needs to consider brand repair before it considers brand permission. Because right now, the Facebook brand means untrustworthy.
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