John Herrman, New York Times:
As social networks grew, visits to websites in some ways became unnecessary detours, leading to the weakened traffic numbers for news sites. Sales staffs at media companies struggled to explain to clients why they should buy ads for a fragmented audience rather than go to robust social networks instead.
Advertisers adjusted spending accordingly. In the first quarter of 2016, 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising will go to Google or Facebook, said Brian Nowak, a Morgan Stanley analyst. […]
At the same time, publishers pored over a report from the analytics firm Parse.ly, detailing how important Facebook had become to their business: Among sites tracked by the firm, more than 40 percent of web traffic came from the social network.
See also Joshua Topolsky’s article on Facebook from last week’s edition of the New Yorker.