How will the property market manage the Facebook news ban?

By Gerv Tacadena | 22 Feb 2021

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has urged market players and stakeholders to look beyond Facebook to reach consumers as a news ban on the social media platform takes effect.

Adrian Kelly, president of REIA, said the organisation is currently looking into the situation and its impact on the industry as a whole. However, he said he is confident that the real estate industry will still be able to find ways to reach consumers.

"The COVID-19 has proven that estate agents are very quick to adapt to new technologies and that will be the case in the current environment. As with COVID-19, for agencies and our customers, the show must go on," he said.

Facebook announced that it will ban news stories on its platform in Australia in response to a proposed law that would compel the social media giant to pay publishers for using their news stories.

Campbell Brown, Facebook's vice president for global news partnerships, said in a blog post that the law does not recognise the nature of relationship of the platform and the publishers.

"Contrary to what some have suggested, Facebook does not steal news content. Publishers choose to share their stories on Facebook,” she said.

The ban has affected major real estate portals, trade media outlets, and real estate member organisations, who are now unable to post marketing materials after they were tagged as "news providers.”

Following the ban, Kelly advised agents to avoid posting links that will drive traffic outside Facebook.

"Agents need to be aware that the changes will impact on all property social media campaigns as they are considered a news outlet on the platform and so activity will be restricted.”

Meanwhile, on the side of buyers and sellers, Kelly said they can sign up directly to their preferred sources of information about housing and property.

"From a real estate sales perspective, buyers will go where the properties are being advertised which could ultimately be to Facebook’s detriment," he said.

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