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From Instant Articles to Subscription Revenue

Posted on 9.01.2017

Facebook has confirmed that it will soon add the ability for users to subscribe to publications after viewing content within Instant Articles, in what many industry-watchers are suggesting is the social network's attempt to curry favor with publishers that for some time have been headed toward the digital door.

“If people subscribe after seeing news stories on Facebook, the money will go directly to publishers who work hard to uncover the truth, and Facebook won't take a cut,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote in a post on the development. “We plan to start with a small group of U.S. and European publishers later this year and we’ll listen to their feedback.”

Rumors that paid subscriptions were coming to the social media platform began to emerge in early 2017 when publishers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal started to reduce their use of Instant Articles. In addition to the fact that the social network won't take a cut of such subscriptions, if Facebook can help these publishers increase their paid revenue, there will likely be some payback in the form of advertising dollars over time.

Facebook also indicated that it is making an update where people who search for an article or see one that is trending, they will also see the publisher logo next to the article.
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