I love it when Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo turns to the topic of being a digital publisher.
The first should be obvious: you can’t build businesses around a company as unreliable and poorly run as Facebook. Only a year ago, when I would talk to big money players in the digital media world, there was a consistent refrain: social video on Facebook, that’s the whole game. That struck me as crazy at the time, given everything we were seeing in the industry. And it was crazy. There’s no news publisher entitlement to Facebook traffic. And Facebook is a highly unreliable company. We’ve seen this pattern repeat itself a number of times over the course of company’s history: its scale allows it to create whole industries around it depending on its latest plan or product or gambit. But again and again, with little warning it abandons and destroys those businesses.
Wether Facebook is a platform or not, it does not have the maturity and long-term view needed to run a platform that supports a vibrant ecosystem over the long term.