From a B2C point of view, Facebook is the preeminent sharing platform. Put another way, around a quarter of all traffic gets channelled by the site. So in terms of content marketing, any change it makes is important.
Last week, Facebook announced that it was allowing brands to share sponsored content from its Facebook Pages, which are generally owned by brands or publishers.
A good example is the above tie-up between Lady Gaga and Intel.
Previously, brands required permission from Facebook before they could run branded content – including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360 videos and Live videos.
Facebook is also producing a dashboard tool that will allow publishers to display the post sponsor.
Pushing sponsored content is a major source of revenue for Facebook. It is now considered a difficult challenge to build a following or drive traffic through Facebook organically.
Facebook’s post outlining its rationale for the changes contained this interesting line. It said: “People have told us that they find some types of branded content to be less engaging than others, and this was typically when the content was more promotional.”
Hence there are a few no-nos. For example, profile pictures must not feature third-party products. Or what it calls “pre-roll ads”, ie promotional content that plays in the four-second period before the actual content starts.
The good thing for marketers is it will allow more transparency in terms of tracking as well as the ability to tie-up with influencers. On the downside, it is further evidence of Facebook’s continuing domination of socially shareable content.