Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Facebook, Snapchat expand news offers

News, 20 July 2017

NEW YORK: Social platforms Facebook and rival Snapchat are integrating news with their products with significant implications for publishers, as the social network says it will begin testing subscription options in October, according to reports.

Amid appeals for help from news publishers, financial site The Street.com reported, Facebook announced that it plans to erect a paywall around premium publisher content on its instant articles feature.

Speaking at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York on Tuesday, the network’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, explained that newspapers and digital publishers alike had told her “'we want a subscription product. We want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook.'

“And that is something we are doing now”, Brown said. “We are launching a subscription product.” Brown added that the plan, which has been in the pipeline for some time, is based on premium and metered paywall plans.

The announcement follows a petition, submitted to Congress by the News Media Alliance earlier this month, to exempt publishers from antitrust legislation, thereby allowing them to “negotiate collectively with dominant online platforms,” the alliance said in a statement.

When the possibility of Facebook subscriptions was first reported back in June, Karl Wells of the Wall Street Journal noted that the social media giant had finally acknowledged “that a paid subscription model is a viable business model” that recognised the value of high quality journalism.

Meanwhile, TV news channels are also feeling the heat from new platforms. As a result, NBC, the US broadcaster, yesterday announced that it would dedicate a 30-strong team to publishing a twice-daily news show, exclusively for Snapchat.

The show, Stay Tuned, will sit in the Discover section, Recode reported, producing slots of around five headlines all in 2 and a half minutes.

“There’s a generation of people, many of whom are the so-called cord-nevers or cord-cutters,” said Nick Ascheim, NBC News’ head of digital. “We want to bring NBC news to those people as much as we’ve been bringing it to television audiences.”

The network will front the entire production cost, though sales of ads running alongside the show will be split between Snap and NBC.

Data sourced from The Street, New York Times, News Media Alliance, Digiday, Recode; additional content by WARC staff