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Tomorrow’s news organization will be the one that reaches the more than 845 million monthly active users on Facebook, or at least that’s the prediction 11 different media companies are making today.
MTV News, the Today Show, The Daily Show, CMT, MSNBC, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and CBS local affiliates in Los Angeles and New York are among the slew of new and old media organizations releasing news-themed Facebook applications Thursday.
The social news applications are similar in function to the Washington Post Social Reader and the Yahoo News Social Bar, and will give Facebook members the ability to automatically share their media reading and watching activities with friends and subscribers on the social network. The Timeline-friendly apps will also showcase recently consumed content in a box on the member’s Facebook Timeline.
If the success of the first crop of Open Graph applications tells us anything it’s that some of these media companies are in for a wild ride. Several may even awake tomorrow to find an entirely new readership devouring and sharing their content at rapid pace.
“These apps create new ways for readers to discover content, while giving publishers the opportunity to reach new audiences,” Facebook’s director of media partnerships Justin Osofsky said in a blog post on the news apps. “They’re built around news and content people care about and identify with and provide easy ways to control the social experience.”
Yahoo, as Osofsky detailed, has been a beneficiary of Facebook distribution. Yahoo recently released Social Bar, an Open Graph application integrated with Timeline and Ticker. The bar sits above stories on Yahoo News sites and shows readers the Yahoo content their Facebook friends are enjoying. The content application readers consume is also automatically shared on Facebook, drawing new readers into the Yahoo experience.
Social Bar attracted 25.6 million users in its first 75 days, Yahoo chief product officer Blake Irving shared with VentureBeat last week. Yahoo, as a result, sees more than 2 million shares happening every day. More importantly, the lion’s share of application users, Irving said, are between the ages of 14 and 35, with 45 percent of users 24 and under and 60 percent 34 and under. Yahoo users, by comparison, skew a lot older and tend be 35 and older.
“We’re seeing a different demographic coming to the site that we weren’t getting … and, it turns out, they like the content,” Irving said.
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