What does this mean?
According to Fischer, the platform includes tools for journalists to build actual websites, in addition to newsletters. She also says that Facebook will underwrite some writers to help get them off the ground.
The publishing platform, which has yet to be named, will be free-to-use, and will integrate with Facebook Pages.
Of course, this is not new. Facebook began doing this with news media companies years ago. Twitter’s in as well. Twitter’s purchase of Revue, a newsletter platform for writers and publishers, is similar to Substack, a self-serve newsletter service that integrates payment and helps, in some cases, with distribution and promotion. LinkedIn is also said to be launching their own version of a creator program.
I think all three companies are smart for doing this, and it also scares me to death.
This is extremely seductive. Writers and content creators can skip over some of the more challenging work of building a platform with the help of something like Facebook. In addition, Facebook plugs into immediate distribution. This is great for Facebook…by doing this content creators will keep people on Facebook. The evil empire will be happy to share a very small percentage of the advertising billions they bring in.
So, let’s say that’s what the content creator does. Heads to Facebook, or LinkedIn or anything else. Builds up their platform on that channel.
Then, you are stuck. The audience you built is not your audience, it’s their audience. You are just renting it and getting paid to do it. Definitely seductive. It’s a drug for sure. You become addicted…and when you do, Facebook has you and they can do anything they want.
And then, let’s say you want to leave the platform…you’ll have to start over, and the withdrawal pains will be intense.
Here’s my advice, which you can take or leave – Stay away from them.
Spend a little more time building your platform. WordPress and email programs and other tech integrations take time but work well. And you can control them. Yes, you’ll have to spend a little more time on marketing, but at the end of the day, you’ll be able to choose when and how to communicate with your audience. And as a content creator, I wouldn’t trade that for any shortcut on the planet.
You Need to Know about Discord
I’ll be honest. Six months ago I barely knew about Discord. Sure, my kids were on it, but why did that affect me?
Today, I’m a part of multiple Discord groups and now (on Tuesday) it was announced that Microsoft is trying to buy Discord for $10 Billion (with a b) dollars.
It sounds like Amazon and Epic Games were also in the hunt, but that Microsoft won out.
First, this is another amazing purchase for MSFT (remember when they bought Minecraft?). Microsoft has been trying to become the leader in gaming for years, and Discord is the home for just about every major conversation between gamers.
Don’t know Discord? It’s like a discussion group on steroids. It has 140 million users and does about $130 million in revenue per year.
Hard to believe but $10 billion is a steal. Discord is evolving into the conversation platform for everything cool…like Reddit but private and can be invitation only.
My recommendation? Find a Discord group you like and start figuring it out.