If this big shift works, it will turn Facebook into a sort of social broadcast platform. It will help digital media companies offer more free content than they have before, with the potential to upsell users to a premium experience. (See Zynga.)
It could also position Facebook as a rival to Apple's iTunes and Google's YouTube as a hub for digital media consumption. And as Apple showed a decade ago with the introduction of iTunes, once you're at the center of a digital media experience, there are lots of different ways to make money.
“Facebook is the number-one photo sharing site in world, and the second video sharing site in the world behind YouTube,” says John Love, CEO of SpotMixer. That makes its announcements huge events that could help shift digital behavior. “People are getting more comfortable sharing personal media thanks to Facebook.”
A fair question, still, is whether the new features will be enough to justify the valuation Facebook has been commanding in secondary markets—now well north of $60 billion.
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