Hyperlinks are quickly becoming a thing of the past thanks to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).
Social networks experience a lot of traffic on their sites and as a result, most people have changed their browsing pattern to suit the social network style. Links used to be popular before the era of social networks but then their popularity has been on a constant downhill because social networks do not support them. Even if some of them exist on social networks, it is very unlikely that they will be clicked.
Facebook and Twitter seem to be making the situation even worse through their new news outlets. Facebook launched “Instant Articles” while Twitter recently introduced new â€śMoments.” Facebook, for example, has partnered with news article providers such as the New York Times Co (NYSE:NYT) to provide content inside the companyâ€™s social app. The articles are shared within the app and, therefore, there is no need to link to external sources.
Twitterâ€™s “Moments” also has a similar approach to the content that it makes available. Twitterâ€™s editorial team collects information and images that make for important new but getting to the links for those links is another task in itself. They are hidden deep in the social network and thus limiting the chances of anyone clicking on them.
The reason the social networks do not support links in the articles is because they want to support the content providers to capture more attention, especially in social media. Facebook has made it almost impossible to host links to the articles that news providers published on the social network. Though there are a lot of benefits especially to the social network and the news providers especially regarding traffic. However, there are also some downsides such as the social site might become a news monopoly, making it difficult for other news outlets. The future of hyperlinks, therefore, looks to be darker thanks to social networks.
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