Instant articles for a faster web now seem to be the new mantra for web publishing. So speed is really becoming more the determinant of what you may be reading from any given website or “referral” source on the Internet. You already probably know which sources I am talking about but just for the record let me mention some of the bigger names: Google, Twitter, Pinterest and WordPress (thank you). But you guessed it, the biggest of them all is Facebook in terms of referral traffic to publishers (about 40 percent versus 38 percent for Google). No one really wants to be second, least of all Google.
Remember the days when we used to talk about an open and free Internet. Fortunately, that still seems to be the case, if you can afford the associated hardware, software and connectivity costs. Now when we talk about content on the web and having access to it, the key players may actually be the “middle men” whom we have come to rely on for the quickest and most dependable referral services.
Facebook’s dominace in this arena of web traffic referral is only another example of the growing powers of social media. Traditional content publishers needing to stay connected to their followers now realize that social media is the new “home page” they must utilize.