Facebook had a stream of audience data that publishers used to see how their content performed, but the company dammed it up on the last day of June. Then late last week, the social networking giant acknowledged that it had no plans of turning the feature back on, according to Digiday.

Facebook
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Changing rules for new publishers

This means the company cut off the access that website developers had to Domain Insights, a tool that offered them access to rudimentary information regarding how well externally-hosted content performed when it was shared inside Facebook by users.

When questioned by developers, a Facebook employee noted that the company won’t be accepting new domains for now. Access to that information will continue to remain with current publishers, but the change did not go down well with developers, and some of them believe it is a power play to coerce publishers into putting their content directly on Facebook, the report stated.

“Any website not already using Facebook [Domain] Insights is screwed,” Jason Fox wrote in an email to Digiday. Fox is the founder of an app named Merit that colleges use to share content about their students.

However, a senior social strategist at Elite Daily, Janaki Challa, does not think it’s that big a deal. Challa said Facebook’s move does underscore the fact that at present, publishers are more dependent on the social network’s audience than ever, and the company might be able to exercise more control over what and how publishers can learn about that audience, the report notes.

Growing ad revenue to boost Facebook stock

In other Facebook news, a Barron’s report on Sunday stated that its advertising revenue is growing, and this might help Facebook’s stock climb more than 20% over the next year. Facebook’s growth accelerated recently, thanks in part to its mobile ad load growth. The report noted that other avenues for Facebook’s ad load growth include Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook has 1.1 billion daily average users, and Wall Street expects that number to grow to 1.7 billion in four years. Barron’s said that by that time, the company would have learned ways to turn its ads into transactions, thus helping the company charge higher advertising rates.

On Friday, Facebook shares closed down 0.28% at $123.56. Year to date, the stock is up more than 16%, while in the last year, it is up almost 44%.