The social media site Facebook has been in the early stages of developing a subscription news service that will integrate with many of the largest publishers in the world and create easy to access news for their users. While the site is still in the early stages of development it may be rolled out in a trial basis with some publishers gaining access to selling subscriptions through the site.
This service would operate in the following manner, similar to that of other paid news sites. Users who log in to Facebook would be able to read a certain number of free articles per month but would be locked from reading more until they signed up for the subscription service and began to make payments for the subscription. Users would not be actually visiting the publisher news site, but rather staying in Facebook while reading these articles which would leave Facebook with the ability of providing advertisements to users during this time period as a way of monetizing their site users. There is no indication of whether or not Facebook would be sharing in the revenue generated from the news subscriptions that are signed up through this program.
This subscription news platform would be built on top of the site’s current Instant Articles platform which provides viewers with access to news articles through the site. Users on Facebook interact with other users with these news articles and provide commentary on the articles after liking and sharing them with other users.
This initiative by Facebook would represent the first time that they are initiating a paywall on their site and working with publishing news sites to block content for non-payers. There is also no indication of how the pricing of this program and how it will compare to the news memberships sold directly through the news sites.