Analysis: Facebook PR 1, Stuff/Herald 0

In their merger applications, Stuff and NZME complained they were bleeding ad dollars to Google and Facebook.

That was an accurate observation.

It makes it all the more baffling why the pair continually run promotional pieces for Google and Facebook.

The latest, today, are twin stories on the launch of a new ‘shopping’ feature by Instagram (owned by Facebook). The Warehouse is an early adopter, apparently (see Instagram launches shopping feature in NZ to online retailers' delight and Instagram launches shopping in New Zealand).

First up, it’s not an Instagram shopping feature. You still can’t shop on Instagram. Rather, an Instagram user must click on a promotional message on Instagram, then be taken to the retailer’s site to make a purchase (the process is described here). In other words, we’re talking about a new type of ad.

I guess, at a pinch, a new advertising option on Instagram could be news but only if it was cost and performance compared to other options. Also: Only two clients at launch doesn't really indicate a state of "delight" among online retailers.

In both stories, Instagram just gets a free hit.

Stuff readers (and advertisers) are told, “Social media is increasingly the future for reaching audiences who spend."

I understand the Herald and Stuff are in a cage-fight for clicks (even if I struggle to see the commercial logic), and that a story about Instagram will probably rate.

But guys, please: If you want clicks, do another story on Meghan Markle.

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