Twitter and Facebook are turning publishers into ghost writers
Previously, the platforms were willing to pass people on to a publisher’s website where they could show ads, promote their other posts, and forge a relationship worthy of a subscription fee or frequent repeat visits. The platform just wanted to be a gateway, and run ads between these chances for discovery.
Now, the platforms want to absorb the Internet, becoming the destination — a sit-down restaurant, not a take-out counter. Rather than hoping users come back to discover more content after they consume it elsewhere, platforms don’t want people to ever leave. They hope this full-service experience will make content consumption more convenient for readers.
The latest example of this is how Twitter’s newspapery Moments feature assimilates the content of tweets it aggregates on mobile, but hides the vital link back to the publisher’s website without users even knowing. Should publishers give up the milk if Twitter doesn’t want the cow?
An original tweet with text or a photo and a link appears as just text and/or photo in Twitter’s mobile apps. The trail back to the publisher’s site where it could actually earn the money to create more of the content Twitter is aggregating gets buried in the rich media bushes.
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