Internet users want to receive news and information where they spend time – in instant messengers and social networks. This is a common pattern of behavior. And platforms, that is social networks and messengers, actively support it. They add new and new features, embedding various types of content and services into their ecosystem.
Examples: VKontakte API, which allows you to create built-in applications for ticket sales, booking, etc .; call buttons to action in Classmates; Instant View in Telegram; button “Buy” in the advertisement of Instagram.
For the media, the growing functionality of social networks and instant messengers is the ability to distribute content and attract a new audience, which in the future can be monetized. The active development of ecosystems is more a possibility that a threat to publications.
And here are some facts about why this is so.
- Media is harder to earn on display advertising
The financial capacity of media is sharply reduced. Simply put, the amount that the publication could potentially earn is getting smaller.
The reason is that most media use only the advertising model of monetization. This model works by simple logic: the more traffic, the more opportunities it is to segment and sell to the advertiser. But the realities of the market make their own adjustments.
For example, 38% of the world traffic on the Internet is bot traffic, (see the study Distil Networks, 2016 ). The proportion of users using AdBlock or other programs that hide advertising banners is, according to various estimates, from 22% to 32 %. Another fact: in Russia, about 90% of the market for Internet advertising is occupied by the “big four” – Mail.Ru Group Yandex, Rambler and Google.
If we take all this into account, it becomes obvious: it is not necessary to wait for revenue growth from media advertising. We need to look for new ways to earn, diversify income.
- The media audience moves smoothly into the messengers
The second important trend to keep in mind is the change in the pattern of information consumption. First, users are increasingly using mobile devices to read the news.
Secondly, as we have already mentioned, users want to receive information. where it is constantly present, that is, in social networks and instant messengers, this pattern of behavior becomes more pronounced over time, in particular, because of the rapid growth of the audience of messengers.
- The total audience of the four most popular instant messengers – WhatsApp, FB Messenger, WeChat and Viber – is 3.6 billion active users ( Statista, August 2017 ).
2015, the audience of the four main messengers exceeds the audience of four major foreign social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Why is the development of instant messengers useful for media?
The expansion of the functionality of instant messengers has led to the formation of a new ecosystem. Any ecosystem is a loyal audience that has its patterns of behavior and consumption of information.
For media, it is an opportunity to expand its audience and distribute content to a new ecosystem. To find your reader there, you need to adapt the format and the submission of material for new users. For some media, this may be the beginning of the transformation into multichannel editions.
Already in the instant messengers, there are basic opportunities for monetization of services. They will develop and adapt, including the needs of the media. Subscription models, payment for content units, private paid groups are not far off.
This means that in the near future the presence of instant messengers will give the media the opportunity to diversify revenues and partially compensate for losses caused by a decrease in revenue from the traditional advertising model.