British national newspaper "The Guardian" has decided to stop using Facebook's Instant Articles (IA) and Apple News. This is just the latest development in a larger debate about native versus networked content on social media. 'Publishers versus platforms' has been a topic for a while now. As our infographic shows there's a big divide among U.S. publishers concerning who is using instant articles.
Those critical to chunks of content being given away wholesale on social media platforms have a point when they say, they're not profiting from visits on their own websites, which of course impacts on individual publishers ability to market advertising on their site. Alas, nobody's going to pay you if you haven't got any traffic on your site. On the other hand publishers can profit big style from social media's increased reach and avoid losing users who can't be asked to follow links.
Data compiled by the Columbia School of Journalism in conjunction with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism shows the fault lines of this divide. On the one hand you have publishers like the "Washington Post" and the "Huffington Post" with a high affinity towards instant articles on Facebook. On the other hand there are big legacy players like the "New York Times" (which had used IA before) or the "Los Angeles Times" who simply don't do it, instead using backlinks to get audiences to visit their websites.
However, there are also the relatively new kids on the block, "Vice" and "Vice News", who don't want to lose out on traffic coming from Facebook.