Facebook has announced plans to roll out a news subscription service to its social media platform. The feature will be built on top of Facebook’s Instant Articles service, which lets publishers register their stories to be read quickly from within Facebook.
According to Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown, the plan is to allow readers to access 10 free articles, with subsequent stories being locked behind a paywall from a publisher. The reader will then be directed to the publisher’s site to sign up for a subscription. Publishers will also be able to adopt a ‘freemium’ model with full control over their articles.
Facebook says it will begin testing the service in October, and if all goes well, will roll out the feature worldwide starting in 2018.
“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 at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York City on July 18th. “And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.”
This announcement follows a call to U.S. Congress from 2,000 media outlets last week to negotiate with Google and Facebook. The organizations said that Google and Facebook have too much influence over how news is “displayed, prioritized, and monetized” online and are pushing for a bigger cut from digital ad sales. So far,