Shifting tides

In the article ‘Facebook loses attention as publishers shift focus to other platforms’, DigidayUK touches upon a new trend in online news publishing. According to the website, news publishers are slowly shifting to other social media platforms to distribute their news.

Facebook is clearly still a big source of referral traffic for publishers overall, DigidayUK writes. But publishers are giving more attention to other platforms such as Google News, Apple News, Snapchat, and Instagram (owned by Facebook). Publishers who change their distributing are posting less on Facebook and when they do post, they make sure to refer people back to their websites. Also, publishers create more original content for specific platforms.

In ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’ by Henry Jenkins of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jenkins describes the emergence of media convergence. In the 2004 study he writes: “For the foreseeable future, convergence will be a kind of kludge – a jerry-rigged relationship between different media technologies – rather than a fully integrated system.” (Jenkins, 34). However thirteen years later I think we could argue that the various media technologie are deeply integrated with each other.

Media are more and more intertwined nowadays but it is more of a dependency than a true cooperation. The absolute power of Facebook is showing some weaknesses as seen in the news article. If this trend continues, does that mean a potential change of the current media system? Or will another player take over the dominant position of Facebook? According to Jenkins consumers are expected to play a more active role in determining what content they want to see (Jenkins, 38). But I think the scholar didn’t spot the correct trend on this point. Consumers have little or no power what they see on dominant platforms like facebook. They are left to the will of an algorithm.

Jenkins, H. (2004). The cultural logic of media convergence. International journal of cultural studies, 7(1), 33-43.

Thomas de Man

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