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Yes, Facebook is a media company

Will a chart convince you? Okay. Here’s a chart.

Mark Zuckerberg Attends Mobile World Congress 2016 David Ramos / Getty
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Dear Mark,

We get it.

We understand why you don’t want to call Facebook a media company.

Your investors don’t want to invest in a media company, they want to invest in a technology company. Your best-and-brightest engineers? They don’t want to work at a media company.

And we’re not even going to mention Trending Topicgate here, because that would be rude.

But here’s the deal. When you gather people’s attention*, and sell that attention to advertisers, guess what? You’re a media company.

And you’re really good at it. Really, really good. Billions of dollars a quarter good.

Frankly, it makes us more than a little jealous that you’re so good at being a media company while insisting you’re not a media company.

We wish we were this good at not being a media company.

We know you’re not going to give on this one — Google never did, either. And now the two of you are dividing up the media business you insist you’re not in.

But as you’re collecting billions of dollars of advertising a quarter, we wish you could, you know, wink or nudge or ... something? Just once?

It would make us feel a little better.

Sincerely yours,

The media companies

* With content you get for free.** Which is amazing!

** Practically speaking. Though we’re happy to keep taking some of the few dollars you do spend on content.

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