Globo, the largest mass media conglomerate in Latin America, declared yesterday that it would no longer promote any of its content on Facebook because the social network was deemed "irrelevant" for its audience.
The Brazilian group has decided that none of the fan pages for its several brands would carry links to content. It said that the decision boiled down to two factors: Allegedly, filters applied by Facebook meant that only 1 to 2 percent of the users who "Liked" the Globo pages received the content in their news feed and therefore generated traffic for its websites. Also, Globo doesn't like the possibility of Mark Zuckerberg's firm being able to display competitor ads to the fans of Globo-maintained pages.
"People don't go to the fan pages, they consume what has been published there on them as it is published in their news feed. And not necessarily everything that was published on the fan page is out there [in a user's news feed]," chief executive at Globo.com, Juarez Queiroz, said to marketing publication Meio & Mensagem.
"Also, when you want to advertise on Facebook, there is a page that is specifically designed for that. There, advertisers can say, for example, that they want to send ads to young males, and can choose choose to target them by their interests, which are filters segmented by the fan pages. With that, my competitor can communicate with my user base," Queiroz added.
As a result of this recent review, Globo's Facebook pages look like the one in the picture below — the headline "invites" the user to visit the brand's website if they want to read the story — there are no links at all.
Fair enough. But someone might want to tell Mr Queiroz that a quick analysis of how the web has progressed over the years — from static pages to web 2.0 to social networking — will show that, nowadays, people spend a lot of their time online on social networks. And the way people want to consume information is by dynamically filtering, aggregating, and selecting it — and tools like Facebook represent the very core of people's social media experience. If every other major media company, such as CBS, the BBC, and Deutsche Welle, is actively using Facebook to create such engagement with their audience, why would Globo want to cut that communication channel?
Mr Queiroz might also like to know that Facebook doesn't "edit" anything. Similarly, to Google's algorithm, it uses a long list of factors — aka Edgerank — to decide what fans will (and won't) see in their news feed. And if Globo wanted to heavily promote something related to a certain TV show or publication, certainly they could shell out a few thousand dollars in Facebook adverts to get those extra eyeballs — its competitors have probably figured that one out.
As the pre-eminent media group in Brazil, Globo should be exploring the future — but clearly, the company is not embracing online content distribution and how it can enhance their content. And if all they are interested in is people sitting in front of the TV and only watching their soap operas in the evening, then soon enough, someone else will eat their lunch.