Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.
In the summer he wrote in a blog post, “I firmly believe that by working closely together, Facebook and news organisations can and will better understand each other and find sustainable solutions for trusted journalism leveraging Facebook’s products, capabilities and joint ideas moving forward.”
Among its many aims the Project seeks to build closer relations between the platform and the media via the creation of tools and training for media workers and the collaborative development of new products. The latter includes; new storytelling formats, innovative business models and tech-driven solutions.
Jesper’s role is focused on developing partnerships with media companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In his keynote at DIS 2019 he will explain more about the Facebook Journalism Project and talk about how his team are working with journalists and publishers.
In your keynote, you will speak about the Facebook Journalism Project. What’s it all about?
We launched the Facebook Journalism Project a little over two years ago to strengthen our relationships with news partners. We work closely with journalists and publishers around the world to better understand their goals and needs in today’s digital world. We support various initiatives to help publishers get closer to their readers, and work with them to find new, sustainable, long-term business models.
What would you say from the perspective of the European media are the key issues publishers have with Facebook, and how are you and your team addressing these?
We know that publishers in Europe have found it tough to work with us over the past few years. I’m committed to changing this, and am growing our team in Europe, Middle East and Africa so that we can better serve as a bridge between Facebook and publishers in this region. We have a team of very experienced media professionals who are actively advocating for publishers’ needs in the organisation, but we need scale, and we need to do more to tell partners about how our platform actually works and how they can engage their readers on Facebook.
What are the innovations from Facebook that are exciting European media the most?
We’re really excited about the opportunities for publishers around many of our products, including Stories, Groups and video, which provide opportunities to engage deeply with readers on Facebook. We’re also continuing to focus on our subscriptions offering for publishers, making it easier to deploy, and extending more support to local news publishers in Europe. A great example of a publisher using subscriptions to their advantage is Le Monde. The French newspaper used Facebook’s targeting and measurement tools to deliver more relevant, personalised ads to different audiences. As a result they increased their unique readers across the website and app by 30 per cent and grew digital subscriptions by 20 per cent in just one year.