Here’s what we know so far about Google Chrome’s mobile article recommendations, the next major traffic driver for publishers

Two weeks ago, we published an analysis showing the rise of Google Chrome Suggestions(GCS) — suggested links that appear in any new tab of Chrome on mobile devices. In response, we received an outpouring of questions on Twitter and email. While other major referral sources are relatively well-understood, GCS or “Articles for you” is new enough that, as far as we’ve seen, there is essentially no information out there describing its traffic. With that in mind, and with much still unknown, we wanted to walk through what we can say about GCS traffic.

What Google Chrome Suggestions is (and isn’t) and how we measure it

When you open a new tab of Chrome on an iOS or Android device, Google provides an automated list of “Articles for you.” On Android, when a visitor clicks on one of these links, the referrer is set to www.googleapis.com/auth/chrome-content-suggestions. In
Continue reading "Here’s what we know so far about Google Chrome’s mobile article recommendations, the next major traffic driver for publishers"

This is the next major traffic driver for publishers: Chrome’s mobile article recommendations, up 2,100 percent in one year

If you use Chrome on your phone or tablet, you’re probably familiar with the article suggestions that you see when you open a new tab in your browser. However, if you’re a publishing executive, you may not be thinking of them as a meaningful traffic source. Well, we have news for you: Research by Chartbeat’s data science team reveals that Google Chrome’s Articles for You (also known as “Chrome Content Suggestions” or “Chrome Suggestions”) is one of the fastest growing sources of publisher traffic on the internet. What does this mean for publishers? Google Chrome’s Articles for You is an under-publicized feature of Chrome on both Android and iOS that is now the fourth most prominent referrer in the Chartbeat network (behind Google Search, Facebook, and Twitter). Even though Chartbeat is currently only tracking Articles for You referrals from Android and not from iOS, its Android referrals alone are now Continue reading "This is the next major traffic driver for publishers: Chrome’s mobile article recommendations, up 2,100 percent in one year"

Newsonomics: Will Facebook’s troubles finally cure publishers of platformitis?

That Facebook’s fall from grace will be twinned in history with the rise of Trumpism seems poetic. It’s a digital Frankenstein fable, one even Mel Brooks might have a hard time satirizing: a perhaps uncontrollable phenomenon escaping from the laboratory (or, in the modern case, Room H33). Listen to The Daily’s interview with Zuckerberg when he broke his fast of Facebook silence, when the scope of blowback to Cambridge Analytica’s work on his platform could no longer be ignored. You hear, in the awkward silence and hesitant replies, the sense that the digital age is now doing as much to us, as it is for us, quite beyond anyone’s control. The new reckonings appear day after day — some of them echoes of what Facebook critics have been saying for years, some of them new understandings. We have yet to really reckon with how completely transformed our worlds have Continue reading "Newsonomics: Will Facebook’s troubles finally cure publishers of platformitis?"

Okay, if Facebook and Google aren’t publishers: How about editors?

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Oh, Facebook. The big story right now is obviously Cambridge Analytica (we have roundups of the news here and here), but in an interview all about that with The New York Times this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said a few things about fake news (or false news, as Facebook prefers to call it). First:

Take things like false news. You know, a lot of it is really spam, if you think about it. It’s the same people who might have been sending you Viagra emails in the ’90s, now they’re trying to come up with sensational content and push it into Facebook and other apps in order to get you to click Continue reading "Okay, if Facebook and Google aren’t publishers: How about editors?"

MediaShift Podcast #263: Facebook in Disarray Over Privacy Concerns; Google to Spend $300 Million to Support Journalism; Vox Media’s Melissa Bell

In the news this week, Facebook has taken one hit after another when the news broke that Trump consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had received Facebook profile data on 50 million users to help sway the election. Can the social giant turn the tide of bad news? Meanwhile Google made a splash by pledging $300 million for its new Google News Initiative to fight fake news, support subscriptions for publishers and more. As Facebook and Google lose share in online advertising, publishers are also looking elsewhere for social distribution, including Twitter and Pinterest. And Vox Media’s Melissa Bell joins us to talk about the company’s social video layoffs as the company pivots toward more podcasts and TV shows. Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out our Digital Media Brief below!

MediaShift Podcast

Digital Media Brief


Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #263: Facebook in Disarray Over Privacy Concerns; Google to Spend $300 Million to Support Journalism; Vox Media’s Melissa Bell"

Google announces a $300M ‘Google News Initiative’ (though this isn’t about giving out grants directly to newsrooms, like it does in Europe)

— Google said Tuesday it’s committing $300 million over three years towards various products and initiatives intended to help news publishers and sweeten Google’s relationships with them, as part of an umbrella initiative it’s calling the Google News Initiative. The name recalls Google’s Digital News Initiative, through which the company gives out €150 million ($164 million) over three years to “help stimulate innovation in digital journalism” among European publishers. (A round of grants is open for project applications now, by the way.) This Google News Initiative is not that. Instead, this just puts a fancy and familiar name to many of the bits and pieces of Google — from AMP to commenting products to publisher requests around reader insights to working groups to various product tests — that touch publishers.