Breaking News: In an unprecedented move, Facebook has carried out their threat to ban Australian publishers from viewing or sharing news articles. Users are already reporting being unable to share news content. If you visit an Australian news site there are no posts*. Both Google and Facebook recently made threats. Google has had a change of heart, but Facebook is going in an entirely different direction.
*At the time of publishing this blog when Boost Social couldn’t view news posts on the Facebook App on Android or Apple, but on the desktop Facebook app we were still able to see posts on news sites and share. However, we are sure it’s only a matter of time before this is rectified.
Facebook unleashes the nuclear option in Australia: The company just announced it will block Australian news publishers and Australian users of Facebook from posting, viewing or sharing any news content whatsoever
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) February 17, 2021
In a post to the Facebook Newsroom on Thursday (AEDT), Facebook announced its response was to carry out this shocking move to block the sharing of Australian news as a result of being unable to come to an agreement with the government’s media bargaining laws. The Morrison government wanted social media companies to pay media outlets for using their content.
Facebook just blocked the sharing of news in Australia. https://t.co/VVbNFvowBu
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) February 17, 2021
In the news article Facebook Managing Director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand. William Easton pointed out that news makes up less than 4% of the content that shows up in their news feeds. “Journalism is important to a democratic society which is why we build dedicated, free tools to support news organisations around the world innovating their content for online audiences,” Easton said.
After three years of working with the Australian Government to find a suitable solution, they’ve reached a stalemate and Easton believes the demands for payment for content penalises the social media giant for content it didn’t ask for or take.
“It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.
“Unfortunately, this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook.”
What do these Facebook changes mean to you?
For international news outlets, they can continue to publish links and posts as usual but Aussie Facebook users will no longer be able to see them. This will impact their insights. If you live in Australia and visit social media news sites you won’t be able to see any posts or content. You will also not be able to view or share Australia or International news content on Facebook. International audiences will also not be able to view any Australian content.
How will the Facebook news ban affect my small business?
You won’t be able to share relatable news articles from media outlets, so unless your content creation is solely reliant on posting news articles (which if this is the case you need to contact us urgently to get a more strategic social media plan). Users will still be able to see your business posts.
It is too early to tell if there is going to be backlash over the Facebook ban. Will it see people leave Facebook in droves? Maybe! There are sure to be some users who will decide to leave the social media platform in protest and this may be reflected in a drop in insights. But this also stresses the importance of your business being on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Instagram, Google My Business and LinkedIn.
Social media is here to stay, no matter what form this takes, however, your business needs to stay up to date with the changes (and believe us, they’re constantly changing and sometimes with little warning). The main takeaway from this breaking news about Facebook is being able to roll with the changes. You need to have a robust social strategy. For example: if you woke up tomorrow and there was no Facebook, how would you communicate with your target audience?
If there’s one lesson we’ve learnt from this Facebook ban, it’s about versatility and adaptability.
If your social strategy has been to post media outlet content that’s related to your business, you need a brand new social strategy. Contact us today for a 30-minute consultation. If you want to future proof your social strategy and look at new social platforms, we can also help you out.
Be proactive and ensure your business is ready for social media 2021.