Since the introduction of the ban, ABC has been promoting its own app with the message “Do you miss us on Facebook?”. According to The Verge, that could be the reason the app suddenly skyrocketed in Apple’s download lists.
The news app even briefly ranked number one on the list, above Instagram, Messenger, Facebook and WhatsApp – all part of Facebook.
Quarrel about a new media law
Australia is on the verge of passing a new media law requiring online platforms like Facebook to pay publishers for links to their news stories. If a platform cannot reach an agreement with the publisher, an independent arbitration committee will determine how much a company like Facebook has to pay.
The bill is expected to be approved by the Australian parliament next week.
Facebook is very unhappy with the law and believes that publishers already earn more from Facebook than the other way around. The tech giant threatened to block all Australian news links if the law was not amended. This week, the company went into action.
According to NiemanLab, Facebook referrals to Australian news sites plummeted by 93 percent after the ban. The amount of visitors who ended up on news sites via Facebook fell from 15 to 5 percent.