Have you heard? Facebook and Whatsapp are getting married
When I first heard about this I wasn’t surprised. I was attending Social Media Week in New York as the SMW Reporter and had been in a seminar with BuzzFeed’s CEO & Founder Jonah Peretti. He was being interviewed by Toby Daniels Founder & Executive Director of Social Media Week.
When Toby asked Jonah about the future of sharing, that was when my ears perked up. Jonah went on to explain that he was starting to notice that their very popular BuzzFeed articles and quizzes were being dark shared and that people were starting to share less on Facebook and more across messaging platforms. Now, when he said this I got excited. It’s so very true. I have numerous amounts of Whatsapp chat groups and know that almost each group has a few shares a day with me. As a matter of fact, I’ve received BuzzFeed quizzes from friends in groups on Whatsapp too. There’s a steady shift between people wanting to share with articles, images etc with the masses to personalized and grouped sharing. Maybe Google was onto something with their Google+ selective group sharing capabilities.
It was all coming together in my head. When Jonah mentioned dark sharing. Many people in the audience at Social Media Week were boggled by the term. Had no idea what it meant. Thank you Toby! He jumped on it and asked Jonah to explain it further.
Dark sharing is a referral source that you see but has no exact source of where that traffic came from. So people who share via Whatsapp, BBM or other messaging services – their shares are not shown to BuzzFeeds analytics team. Right now BuzzFeed see’s that 20% of traffic is dark.
Marketers, advertisers and social media people of the world are thinking the acquisition will bring ads, change the platform, increase the cost of using the service, but no one has thought about behind the scenes benefits for Facebook. It’s the information of sharing that really matters to digital companies right now. That is where the future is.
Did Jonah know something before everyone else? Does he have a crystal ball that showed him the future Facebook acquisition? Or was it possibly an intelligent guess?
Let me know what you think with your comments below.