Facebook may be planning subscription-based news service

By : |July 20, 2017 0

If you are used to getting insights into what is happening around the world with Facebook, your news consumption habits are about to be changed. Facebook could begin testing a paywall for subscription based news service as early as October, according to a report from The Street.

The report cited Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook who was speaking at an industry conference in New York- “The world’s largest social media platform is erecting a paywall that would cut off non-subscribers after they have accessed 10 articles.” The feature reportedly will be built on top of Facebook’s “Instant Articles,” which aggregate stories from various publishers, depending on a reader’s preferences.

After viewing 10 articles from the media company, a user would be asked to sign up for a subscription service to that publication or log into an active one. Facebook plans to start a pilot with a small group of publishers in October and to expand the initiative in 2018 if results are promising. However, it is not clear which publishers might participate in the test.

“One of the things we heard in our initial meetings from many newspapers and digital publishers is that ‘we want a subscription product — we want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook,'” Brown said. “And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.”

As the majority of readers have gone online for their news, big publication houses have suffered a decline in the sales of newspapers lowering advertising revenue. Newspaper publishers and the Associated Press have blamed Google and other news aggregation sites for their decline in sales and have threatened to delist their content and start charging users.

“We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook,” Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, said in a statement. “As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are taking the time to work closely together with our partners and understand their needs.”

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