But when I really look at Instant Articles, and the other new updates I’m sure that they’ll announce today at their F8 conference, I’m asking myself one question: Has Facebook been able to achieve what AOL could have a generation ago? By that I mean:
Let me explain. If you think about our behavior on AOL in the early to mid 90’s, people never really left AOL to go on the world-wide-web. After they logged in with dial-up, not only did they have email and instant messaging, but they were also on a page that provided them with (slightly curated) news, weather, videos, images, games, and articles. Users had no reason to leave the AOL hub to explore the Internet on their own. Sound familiar?
If Facebook is able to pull off this move from a media standpoint, they will be the layer of medium consumption above the Internet itself. Think about it: now instead of going to Time, Inc., or Sports Illustrated, you’re consuming through and in Facebook’s native environment. There’s no reason to leave Facebook’s app at all.
Having an all-native interface that’s overlaid on top of the world-wide-web is the ultimate ambition for an internet company. It’s an ambition that nobody thought was going to be possible after AOL lost its foothold in the last decade. Facebook is dangerously close to being able to pull it off. If Zucks was able to acquire Snapchat 18 months ago like he wanted to, and if they were to developed an OTT (over-the-top) network that competed with Netflix, Facebook would basically be the anointed winner of the entire Internet.
Curated from Gary Vaynerchuk
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