Facebook expanding in all directions

If you’re a subscriber to Ben Thompson’s Stratechery blog, then you may have seen his daily update this morning discussing Facebook’s announcement that it will begin hosting news sites’ content. As usual, Ben’s analysis is spot-on, as is his observation that BuzzFeed is way out ahead. From the NYT:

With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site…

Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.

Considered in context with my post yesterday about what Facebook could – and perhaps is – doing with its payments service, I find this particularly interesting.


So, what do you think ?