Facebook to launch innovative subscription news service

Facebook is preparing a solution to one of content producers biggest criticisms of the platform – the inability to put content behind a paywall.

Thursday 27, July 2017 23:07 | Sam Leveridge

Whilst paywalls have become increasingly popular, especially in the world of news services, Facebook and other social media sites have lagged behind in adapting to its implementation. That has given publishers hope in their fight against a social media takeover.

Facebook initially tried to react with their Instant Articles scheme, but critics have claimed that it does not actually increase traffic and does not provide the same opportunity for monetisation offered by traditional links on social media.

Now, the company are ready to trial a new paywall feature. Starting in October, users will be able to sign up for digital subscriptions after reading a set number of articles from certain sources. The system replicates similar schemes in place for many news websites.

The feature could give Facebook the lead in their fight to become the most innovative firm in the market. Whilst the likes of Twitter are still trying to find a solution, Facebook may have discovered the best way to offer monetisation for content on its network.

Likely to be initially rolled out in the US, content producers will wait to see how the system works and the initial reaction before committing to the scheme. Some fear that users may react negatively, as many did when the first news websites, such as the Wall Street Journal, began to introduce a paywall in 2007.