‘Facebook will pay dearly’: News ban set to spark exodus
Facebook's news ban may prove to be a major "own goal" which will ultimately drive Australians towards other platforms such as Google's new News Showcase initiative, tech sector experts believe.
Facebook's move came just two weeks after Google launched News Showcase in Australia, connecting readers with more than 450 publications from 120 publishers based in a dozen countries.
Although Google did not disclose overall usage statistics as of today, it earlier revealed publications featured in News Showcase had received more than one million views within the first 10 days.
Content from 26 News Corp publications can now be accessed via News Showcase, including The Australian, The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and many more.
Other Australian media companies to have finalised a financial agreement with Google over content appearing in News Showcase include SevenWest Media, Nine, Junkee Media, The Saturday Paper, Crikey and The Conversation.
Associate Professor Johan Lidberg from the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University told News Corp Facebook had produced a remarkable "own goal" with its news ban, which would be seen as bullying behaviour by many users.
Google had done much more than Facebook to address concerns about the use of news content, Assoc Prof Lidberg said, "though they had much more money at stake and more long term control issues".
"Google's been much more willing to come to the table in good faith. Facebook has not, and they will pay dearly for it," he said.
While the advent of News Showcase was an interesting development, Assoc Prof Lidberg said, the ACCC news media bargaining code was still needed "to keep the tech giants honest".
Associate Professor Fiona Martin from the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney said it would be interesting to see how Facebook users responded to the news ban.
"Already we're seeing Australians diversify the types of platforms they are using for news and current affairs, such as Reddit, so we want to see where they go instead of Facebook-owned platforms," she said.
Originally published as 'Facebook will pay dearly': News ban set to spark exodus