This week we watched as Facebook pulled all Australian news media from its feed. (If you’re wondering why, you’ll find a short explanation at the bottom of this page.)
As a small business owner, this hopefully served as a stark reminder of building your email list so you’re never reliant on a social media platform to connect with your audience.
In the video below, I speak about some of the internal blocks that might stop you from doing this at all, or doing it well. And how to combat some of the hurdles associated with being consistent with your online marketing efforts.
Why did Facebook pull all Australian media from its feed? This is as short as I can make the explanation!
The Australian government has been trying to find a way to protect legacy media and pay for good journalism. The money they used to receive from advertising – which they used to keep their operations afloat – has significantly declined since the advent of advertising on FB and Google (which is where most people advertise now). So legacy media has been struggling for some time to stay afloat.
The Australian Government asked our corporate regulatory body to look into it and they thought it was a good idea to solve that problem by making Google and FB pay news outlets to show their stories in search and in the feed. Naturally, Google and FB said that’s not the way our platforms work. (For a good reason – the logic makes no sense. Somewhere along the line legacy media got it into its head that their decision to voluntarily share links to their work on FB and Google meant that FB and Google were ‘stealing’ their content. See… it makes no sense.) Anyway, Google has been doing deals around the world with media outlets anyway – in a manner that they’re comfortable with – so they’re pursuing that path but have said they could pull search from Australia if they’re forced to negotiate with every news outlet in the country. Facebook on the other hand said, ‘We won’t do this’ and opted to pull all news distributed from Australia media from its feed.
The other hidden (or not so hidden) driver behind this whole thing is Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. He has significant influence over the current party in government (the Liberal National Party, known as the LNP) and uses his media to influence voters toward that (conservative) party. He has been trying for years to get someone to get ‘his profits back’ from Google and FB. So there’s quite a bit of ‘looking after your mates’ going on. And the final complexity in the whole thing is that the rest of legacy media – including those on the other side of the political aisle – are onboard with the proposed legislation (known as the Media Code), because they can’t come up with a business model to keep quality journalism afloat. How/why that’s Google and FB’s problem is hotly contested and sadly, in the middle of it all, the smaller news outlets and regional papers are the ones who will suffer the most.