On the Verge of the Last Days of New Media Trust

On the verge of media meltdown
On the verge of media meltdown

Watching the follow video produced by tech-site The Verge about Facebook’s new ‘Instant Articles’ advertising unit lead me to wonder exactly when it was that the latter bought the former and why we weren’t informed of this.

This is essentially an advertorial for Facebook’s latest grasp at relevance. If you’re a media studies student I’d urge you to watch it to the end. If you’re a journalist with any smattering of pride left in your work, I’d urge you not to. If you’re already working in marketing or PR or are a hack in New Media tech journalism, desperate for the illusive advertising spend, then you’ve probably taken this to the quiet room has ‘visual stimulation’.

If you’re a ‘reader’ or viewer who is after some good old-skool information about the product that Facebook will be offering you, well, you’ll find no such thing here. It does no service to the ‘reader’ whatsoever: Do Instant Articles actually serve instantly to a range of devices over a range of signals? Who is a launch partner (The Verge isn’t, we are at least told this. But it’s probably not a huge surprise given it is currently enjoying similar levels of interesting times as the test of the New Media and I’d imagine Facebook does indeed want a cut of your Instant Article produced eyeball revenue).

What is does offer is an evangelical sales dirge from Man with Job Title at Facebook to Hack with Job Title at The Verge who pals along and waggles his head in eager affirmation. To be fair, it offers a hint of critical analysis towards the end but even that is the usual narcissistic bull-waffle about ad revenue splitting that would be immediately obvious to anybody watching this reflecting pool of public-interest-free piss.

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