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Facebook Set to Test Paywalled News Subscription Service

20 July 2017

"We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook", Brown said.

The recent development comes in a week after almost 2,000 publishers in the U.S. formed the News Media Alliance to get an anti-trust exemption from the Congress to negotiate over advertising revenue with digital platforms.

The plan would work like the paywall on the New York Times: You get 10 free articles a month before you're forced to subscribe.

The feature is likely to allow publishers to create a paywall on Facebook's Instant Articles and guide readers to a publisher's home page to opt for a digital subscription, according to TheStreet.

Campbell Brown is Facebook's head of news partnerships, and recently spoke at Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in NY.

"And that is something we are doing now".

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The New York Times has also pulled out of Instant Articles, while a number of other United States based news organisations including Washington Post and LA Times have installed paywalls on their sites and limited the number of articles people can read for read. Facebook is also testing mid-roll video ads with a handful of publishers that it plans to eventually roll out to everyone. "We are launching a subscription product".

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have been able to build success with a paywall, but smaller and midsize outlets continue to struggle to provide in-depth analysis on topics that is worth paying for in comparison to the WSJ and NYT. The News Media Alliance, which petitioned Congress, charges that Facebook and Google benefit from the work of hundreds of newspapers without fairly compensating publishers.

However, publishers have long criticized that they haven't been able to monetize Instant Articles to the same degree as content hosted on their own sites.

Social media giant Facebook Inc. That would allow for the authentication of the publishers' existing subscribers.

It is unclear, however, how payments will be handled and if Facebook would take a cut of subscription sales. Facebook will begin initial tests in October, TheStreet reported.

Facebook Set to Test Paywalled News Subscription Service