The new century brings new problems, and now we are facing a new kind of disease – digital paranoia. Digital media is a rapidly changing world, and sometimes publishers can’t catch up with upcoming jumping out rules. This “diagnosis” is especially related to those who publish advertiser-sponsored videos on Facebook and are afraid of penalizing them. Here are some symptoms and therapy, so read attentively – maybe you have this disease too?


Collaboration and making profit

Facebook is a very comfortable place for media companies to amass audiences and make money. The easiest way to do it is producing branded content videos paid for by advertisers. Facebook’s policies are quite loyal: it requires no cuts of revenue from branded videos. Of course, it’s a great opportunity for media companies and brand-advertisers to collaborate. Publishers who have enough subscribers provide their videos with branded content and advertisers pay for it. Media companies can even distribute content specifically for marketers. But the pure art is unobtrusive and accurate sponsor mention.

For instance, not so long ago there was a touching story about a barber who spent his spare time giving free haircuts to homeless. These videos were watched by many visitors on NowThis and worked for both sides: NowThis was happy with the views and statistics and the barbershop – about the advertising. Viewers, at the same time, were happy about such kind and creative content.

Besides, some publishers really make their living by posting their content on Facebook. LittleThings Chief Operating Officer Gretchen Tibbits says that in July the company gained 234 million views and it’s two-thirds of its total views. That means that publishers extremely depend on Facebook’s strategy.

Facebook Ads Stats

Why do publishers fear?

AS it’s known, publishers don’t pay for their videos because they are regarded as “organic”. But becoming more popular these videos make the creators fear if Facebook’s policies will regard it in another way. And they have reasons. For example, in April Facebook obliged publishers to label videos paid for by advertisers. Some time later, in summer, it decided to prioritize posts from friends over publishers and public persons saying it will make people stay on the site longer. It seemed that Facebook was determined to define an accurate border between organic and branded content.

Anthony Iaffaldano, vice president of corporate marketing at Business Insider, says that “it takes is a slight tweak to the algorithm or to the business rules”. Therefore, publishers fear that Facebook will force them to buy ads to drive viewership to videos. But the thing is that some publishers already have to buy ads in order to get an access to the set of data and analytics to see how a video perform. They complain that “organic” videos cannot provide such data. Besides, more than anything publishers fear that Facebook won’t allow branded videos without sharing revenue.

Facebook Ads Stats


Facebook tries to calm publishers down

Facebook acts like a caring mother: it responds to all these fears trying to comfort publishers. It says that labeling videos as sponsored doesn’t penalize them according to the algorithm. The company also claimed that it will think about more convenient data for branded videos to make it easy for publishers. And, what’s more relieving, Facebook says it never plans to make publishers share their revenue.

It’s easy to understand as company itself is interested in growing audiences, and media companies act on its platform as autonomy players. Its’ very comfortable for Facebook and that’s why it can step forward in some ways such as sponsored videos. This thought proves the fact that many publishers are confident Facebook is interested in media companies’ growth and development. “They want high-quality content for their experience, and publishers need to reach an audience and provide the metrics advertisers want”, says Eli Pariser, chief executive at the feel-good social publisher Upworthy.

The relationship between Facebook and media companies is sometimes difficult and there can appear some misunderstandings. But we can see it in every family, if a comparison is available, don’t we? And Facebook, being a caring mother, tries to recover its relatives from this “digital paranoia”.

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