As if we all didn’t see this coming, new data shows referrals to news sites from Facebook’s desktop site are dropping significantly. That comes as the result of overall usage of the desktop interface declining in favor of mobile and provides yet another example of why publishers need to be optimizing their sites for the mobile visitor. That might be harder work than just panicking and signing up for Instant Articles, which is exactly what Facebook wants you to do, but it’s the right thing to do for long-term brand value.
Take as an example this op-ed at MediaShift about how yes, social media allows for more reach but it weakens the importance of any given brand over time since “I saw it on Snapchat/Facebook” takes the place of “I read about it in the Chicago Tribune” or what have you. There’s also this study showing (for like the 15th year in a row) the value of the homepage is falling as more people come in from links elsewhere and then click out quickly because there’s…wait for it…little to no brand loyalty to get them to stick around.