Publishers are in danger of becoming dumb content in the smart pipes of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The quest for smoother user experience seems to pose actually visiting a publisher’s site as friction. With content consumption being redfined, there’s plenty of eyeballs out there, but it’s getting tougher to win the hearts of readers.
Previously, the platforms were willing to pass people on to a publisher’s website where they could show ads, promote their other posts, and forge a relationship worthy of a subscription fee or frequent repeat visits. The platform just wanted to be a gateway, and run ads between these chances for discovery.