In 2020, most businesses have their social media profile sorted, regularly posting to their followers who happily share their content to friends, family and contacts for free.
Overnight Facebook provided an update to their response to the Australian Government’s proposed media laws. These new laws would see international companies (who also have deep pockets) be charged for distributing legacy media’s content in Australia.
Obviously not keen to endorse that crazy plan, Facebook response details their arguments against the proposed legislation (aka money grab), Facebook is suggesting their course of action would be to disable sharing for Australians.
Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram.
Yep, this is spectacularly backfiring on the Government.
If COVID19 wasn’t enough of a hit to businesses, then having Facebook pull sharing from Australia, would destroy social traffic to business websites overnight which accounts for a large percentage of website visitors.
News organisations in Australia and elsewhere choose to post news on Facebook for this precise reason, and they encourage readers to share news across social platforms to increase readership of their stories. This in turn allows them to sell more subscriptions and advertising. Over the first five months of 2020 we sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook’s News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge – additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers.
Facebook’s response follows a very aggressive response from Google (who also happen to have deep pockets) from earlier last month.
I encourage the Government to back away from this proposed legislation immediately. Australia is a capitalist economy and that means we’re all free to compete, if legacy media want to go build a social network or search engine, good luck, please delete your profiles from Facebook and Instagram and we’ll see how well you do with them.
Advertising has gone online and its time we dealt with that change instead of having the Government do your bidding for an out-of-date business model. The days of no accountability for advertisement spends are over. Broad, blanket marketing of billboards, newspaper ads, radio and even TV all pale insignificance when compared to digital ads that are hyper-targetted and offer end-to-end conversion data.
By the way, being a native online business since its inception more than 13 years ago, techAU would not be eligible for any income as a result of the new media legislation, however we will be impacted considerably if this Facebook and Instagram sharing ban proceeds.
Read the full post from Facebook here.