As Facebook’s traffic sent to publishers continues to plummet, there’s something big brewing to replace it: web browsers serving up native recommendations about what to read next, right on the new tab page (or elsewhere, like at the end of a story).
Mozilla announced that Firefox is experimenting with this today, analyzing what you’re reading and offering something to click on next. Google is quietly building the same with a feature
hidden away behind flags in its Canary browser showing a bar offering up recommendations on mobile.
Expect these features to be big traffic drivers in the future, as they start getting good. There’s a serious problem, however, with these ideas: they commoditize content further by essentially convincing you to leave the site as soon as you’re done with reading. That might increase bounce rate dramatically, and lower overall pageviews per session.
On the other hand, maybe we’ll be able to find great, fun new blogs again as a result, like the good old days of blogging… even if it isn’t likely.