Website owners are learning again not to trust third-party sites to drive website traffic. A sudden and unexpected change in Facebook’s algorithm during May 2023 has resulted in a significant decrease in traffic for news and media websites, leaving publishers desperate for answers. According to Echobox, a social media management firm, Facebook-related traffic fell by about 50% from the summer of 2022, affecting numerous publishers worldwide. Insiders and publishers are concerned about the lack of communication from Meta, Facebook’s parent company, regarding these changes. This uncertainty has thrown the fragile digital news business into further turmoil, with recent instances such as Vice Media’s bankruptcy and BuzzFeed News’ closure. The ongoing decline is attributed to Facebook’s shift towards prioritizing video content and the decreased visibility of news content on the platform. Critics argue for transparency and communication from Meta, as its silent algorithm changes significantly impact third-party publishers’ performance and revenue. We have seen this with Google as well. It’s life and death for some of these sites.
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