Facebook has decided that it wants to support paid journalism after all. The company has announced that it is allowing news site to implement paywalls on Instant Articles, allowing the owners of those stories to collect income from them. Additionally, Facebook will not be taking a cut from the subscription fees.
At the moment, Instant Articles are a kind of backdoor into news stories usually hidden behind paywalls. This is because sites like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times post their stories there for the extra reach. Unfortunately, it also means that people do not have a reason to subscribe to those newspapers and reduces income.
Going forward, readers will be entitled to read 10 free articles per month. Facebook will then redirect readers to the newspaper’s own subscription page once this limit is hit.
What is really interesting in this is that Facebook will be allowing the newspapers to keep 100 percent of the subscription fees. Similar services tend to keep a small portion as their own profit; for instance, Apple keeps 30 percent of subscriptions sold through its own Apple News feature.
This move is part of Facebook’s own push to promote journalism and support publishers. It’s the result of the Facebook Journalism Project, which was largely listening to what publishing companies had to say, and then trying to work with them on a solution.