Posted January 30, 2008 10:40 am by with 13 comments

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The fact that the WSJ and Facebook have just partnered on a new initiative to let Facebook users share their favorite news stories, surely demonstrates one of the following:

  1. Facebook is now dominated by 30+ -year old WSJ reading types.
  2. The WSJ is just desperate to attract some hip under 30-year old readers.
  3. Facebook is just completely selling out.
  4. Both companies are just desperate.

OK, so I’m teasing, but it really does just come across as a strange partnership. It’s almost as if both companies figured it would give each of them some buzz, so struck the deal without actually worrying if anyone would care to use it or not.

Anyway, if you’re simply salivating at the chance to share your favorite WSJ article with your Facebook friends, here’s what you’re getting:

  • A “SeenThis” widget on the WSJ showing shared items.
  • It’s thankfully “opt in” so you’ll only see it, if you request to.
  • A Facebook version of the application which can be added to your profile.
  • SeenThis will show you the stories your Facebook friends are interested in.

I’m taking bets one when the WSJ will allow you throw sheep at other readers. 😉

UPDATE: The SeenThis widget and partnership is with Loomia and not Facebook directly, according to David Marks.

  • Alison

    I’m going to guess some combination of 2, 3 and 4. When I was in college (a whole 2 years ago) the WSJ was “required reading” for many Communications courses. Since I’d agree that most college student’s don’t read the WSJ, we modified the assignment to who could read the least and bluff the most.

    Thinking along those lines, it could be a sensible and valuable partnership if the WSJ realizes what most Facebook users want-CliffsNotes news-and aren’t afraid to give it to them.

  • allen

    here’s my take andy:

    i agree with you and think its more about 2,3,4 and also 5 which is “wsj wants to sell more ads and looking hip will help them do that”

  • Yaacov

    I’ve been reading the WSJ since high school. Can think of only 3 friends who have subscriptions with only one reading it on a regular basis.

    The second I see my data being shared between the two sites, one will have to go…

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  • David Marks


    Thanks for the write up. I’m one of the developers of SeenThis? at Loomia and want to make a quick correction. The Wall Street Journal, CNET, and NBC all partnered with Loomia to provide the SeenThis service, not Facebook as is how your article reads.

    Here’s a link to a press release that explains the details:

    Hope this is helpful!

  • Andy Beal

    @David – thanks for the clarification, I updated the post.

  • Daryl Tay

    Regardless of who initiated the service, I definitely agree that it’s a sign, if not of desperation then of something close. At least here in Singapore, there’s certainly been a decline in activity over the last 3-6 months.

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  • Nicole

    Seems a lot less inappropriate and funny after the clarification.

  • proxy-maker

    Nice link! Thanks for post.

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  • rcjordan

    ‘Facebook fatigue’ kicks in as people tire of social networks

    Seems reasonable, I know I’m tired of hearing about Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin…

    Supposedly supporting stats here (but stats are, after all, stats and therefore highly suspect).

  • Geoff Livingston

    Perhaps Murdoch is suffering from a vampire bite.