Here Are Some More Details on Facebook’s Upcoming Subscription-Based News Product

Facebook will not take a cut of payments

More details emerged Thursday on the subscription-based news product announced by Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown earlier this month.

Brown said at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York earlier this month that the social network would begin testing a subscription-based news product in October, which will direct users to publishers’ homepages where they can purchase digital subscriptions.

She added that the feature’s paywall will make access to those publishers’ content subscription-only after users have accessed 10 articles.

A source familiar with Facebook’s proposals to publishers confirmed many of those details Thursday, saying that publishers will have full control over the conversion and payment process, and that payments will be processed directly via publishers’ websites.

Facebook will not take a cut of those payments.

The source added that when users read enough Instant Articles to trigger a paywall—set by the publisher, with a minimum of 10—they will be prompted to subscribe in order to view more stories, and the subscription process will take place on the publisher’s website.

It should also be noted that publishers not using Instant Articles already have the ability to use paywalls and subscription models, and the source said Facebook has no plans to tinker with that model.

The new news product, which will be tested later this year, will also support a freemium model.

Brown also confirmed many of the details in a statement emailed to Social Pro Daily:

Quality journalism costs money to produce, and we want to make sure it can thrive on Facebook. As part of our test to allow publishers in Instant Articles to implement a paywall, they will link to their own websites to process subscriptions and keep 100 percent of the revenue.

Image courtesy of anilakkus/iStock. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.