In this column piece, Fortune magazine’s Matthew Ingram says Facebook may be a great place to post pictures of a cute kitten, but at its heart it’s a media company. And like all media companies it wants to make dollars by pandering to its advertisers first and foremost…
At its heart Facebook is a media company, and media companies cater to advertisers, not users.
If there’s one battle that has crystallized a lot of the fear and uncertainty around the media business recently, it’s the fight over ad blocking. Most publishers see it as nothing less than an existential threat to their way of life, and they view users who do it as traitors and thieves. And now they have a powerful ally in that war—namely, the world’s largest social network.
There was a lot of obfuscation in Facebook’s announcement on Tuesday, but the bottom line is that the social-networking behemoth has short-circuited the way that ad blockers function, by removing all the indicators that tell ad-blocking software what is an ad and what isn’t. The end result is that users will no longer be able to block ads on its site.
Not surprisingly, advertisers and publishers were overjoyed to have Facebook in their corner. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) said the social network“should be applauded for its leadership on preserving a vibrant value exchange with its users,” and the Newspaper Association of America said it should be “a wake-up call for any publishers who haven’t taken ad-blocking seriously so far.”
For months, publishers have been trying to find ways to combat the rise of ad blocking. Some have taken to using popups that ask users to “whitelist” the site, while others have blocked anyone using ad-blocking software from reading anything on their pages. New York Times editor Mark Thompson said recently that the paper planned to step up the fight because “no one who refuses to contribute to the creation of high quality journalism has the right to consume it.”
Facebook, meanwhile, tried hard to argue that it isn’t blocking ads just because they make the network billions of dollars in revenue. Andrew Bosworth, the VP in charge of advertising and business use of the platform, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the decision “isn’t motivated by inventory. We’re doing it more for the principle of the thing.”
That’s a noble sentiment. But which principle is Facebook trying to uphold exactly? The company says that advertising is “part of the Facebook experience,” and it is rolling out tools to help users choose what kinds of ads they see. But ultimately, it has decided that advertisers are more important than users.
Read the full article here.
Telstra has announced its plans to make all payphones in Australia free, aiming to help struggling Aussies. Despite the fact that payphones may seem to have become obsolete, thanks to mobiles. There are still 15,000 Telstra payphones in Australia. Last year Australia made 11 million calls from payphones, including more than 230,000 calls to vital […]
To mark Majella Pinnuck’s return, AWP spoke to her about why she has come back, the hybrid that skills that today’s large organisations need in their corporate affairs and communications professionals, and the challenge of finding candidates with the right skillset. Pinnuck (pictured) started at AWP after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law […]
The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, consisting of 13 media agency professionals from diverse backgrounds, with the aim of providing guidance to the industry across all facets of diversity and inclusion. The MFA DE&I Advisory Council will promote the MFA’s ambition to build a diverse, equitable […]
One month into the new financial year, Melbourne-based agency Theory Crew has won four new clients across the beauty and FMCG divisions. New clients include the gourmet fruit spread range from France St. Dalfour; organic tea range Higher Living, new to market Australian baby skincare range from Biophysics Group Avo Baby, and soon to be […]
SCA has appointed Commercial Radio Australia Brian White Scholarship winner Zac De Silva (pictured) to its Albury newsroom as it invests in new talent for regional radio newsrooms nationwide. De Silva received the prestigious Brian White Scholarship in 2020 and completed a paid internship at SCA as part of the award. He is just one […]
Spinach has been appointed to manage the media strategy, buying and data capabilities for Australian property developer Beulah. The Melbourne-based developer has several projects in the works including STH BNK by Beulah, one of the most ambitious developments to be undertaken in Australia. With backing from the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee, the $2 […]
Digitas, the Connected Marketing Agency, part of Publicis Groupe, has announced the promotion of Adrian Farouk as CEO of Digitas APAC. Farouk (pictured above) is currently CEO of Digitas & Epsilon ANZ, he will take on the new role with immediate effect whilst continuing his leadership at Epsilon, the group’s data and tech platform business […]
Major sporting clubs and local sporting leaders have united in response to community concern about the effect of prolific sports betting advertising on young people in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s new Love the Game campaign. The ‘Join the club’ campaign includes elite and community level players and administrators, parents, kids, umpires and coaches from […]