Never has a victory been more hollow than that of the publishers over Facebook’s Instant Articles ad policies.
The truth is Facebook’s apparent climbdown isn’t that much of a blow to them. Far from it. Relatively minor changes to the terms are necessary to get buy-in from sceptical publishers. And what happens when they’re on board?
Years ago when Facebook was chasing businesses it was the free alternative to paid advertising. Now organic reach is dropping through the floor, promoted posts are the only way to reach your audience and community managers the world over are thoroughly pissed off. Free it certainly is not.
So let’s fast forward a few years. Do you really think publishers will still be able to place adverts every 35o words? Or that there won’t be restrictions on the external content that they can link to? No fucking chance.
Publishers might have won this one battle, but the war is already lost.