Facebook unveiled Bulletin: a newsletter subscription service
Facebook has launched its own newsletter subscription service, Bulletin after seeing the trend of news subscription services from other media giants and as well as tech giants. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced the service of a newsletter in a virtual conference (audio call discussion). Initially, Facebook won’t take any part of earnings from the authors, as per the reports. Also, the writers will be having complete ownership of their content and have the full list of their subscribers. Bulletin, a competitor of Substack will have the main goal of collecting data from its users and subscribers.
The newsletter from a social media giant will allow its subscribers to have the news in their inboxes. Moreover, the authors or writers will have the right to publish free as well as paid content for their followers. The paid or free content from the authors will be posted to the web, sent to subscribers’ inboxes, and also shared across Facebook on the writers’ page.
Notably, Bulletin could be a tough competition to other major newsletters, including Substack and Revue. To recall, Substack has been used by a number of well-known writers, including Glenn Greenwald and Anne Helen Petersen. Additionally, Substack takes a 10 per cent cut of subscriptions from the authors’ earnings. While Twitter-owned Revue takes a 5 per cent cut from the earnings of their writers. Meanwhile, Facebook didn’t announce that when or how much it will charge from the newsletter in the future.
Interestingly, unlike previous journalism initiatives from the company, Bulletin has given the space outside Facebook. Thus, Bulletin will be having its own website and branding, but will take advantage of Facebook’s distribution tools for sharing. According to the chief executive officer of Facebook, the Bulletin will be integrated into the writer’s Facebook page and readers could find the journalistic writing in the news section of the Facebook app. Also, writers will have the ability to praise or review their writing with podcasts and audio rooms.
After looking at the trend of newsletter products from various media giants, mainstream publishers, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are also experimenting with newsletter products to attract and retain readers like digital media.
Zuckerberg claimed that Bulletin is part of Facebook’s mission to enhance the monetization tools of content creators. The main aim of this service is to support millions of people doing creative work, he further added.
Furthermore, this news covering service will be focusing on empowering independent creative writers, helping them to reach new audiences and heights, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a live audio call discussion.
Facebook spent months hiring writers across different categories or niches, including sports, entertainment, science and health. The highlighted writers include the New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell and the organizational psychologist Adam Grant. Facebook also wanted to expand the program by collaborating with more writers over time, according to news sources.
Initially, news articles and podcasts will be available on creator Facebook pages, News Feed, and also within the News tab section. As a reminder, the social networking giant has a history of news and journalistic partnerships. In 2016, Facebook had deals of content that paid news organizations, such as The Times. The partnership was to broadcast live videos on the Facebook platform. The collaboration between the two didn’t last long and canceled at an early stage.