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Facebook Is Planning to Test Paywall for Instant Articles

Facebook News in San Diego, CA

Facebook recently announced their plan to start testing subscriptions for their Instant Article publishers. When the site first introduced the Instant Articles format, publishers hoped it would bring a boost in revenue. It may not have been as successful as they hoped, but adding the paywall might be a new way for publishers to profit. San Diego SEO service providers discuss the latest changes in Facebook’s Instant Articles feature and how it could impact social media marketing.

The testing will start in October 2017. According to Campbell Brown, the head of the news partnerships team at Facebook, “As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are taking the time to work closely together with our partners and understand their needs.”

Facebook officials are now meeting with publishers to discuss the paywall plan. Last week, the representatives hosted roundtable meetings in New York and Paris with publishers. The details of exactly how the subscription plan will work have not been settled yet. Currently, it appears Facebook users will be able to read 10 free articles per month from a specific publisher. Then, they’ll have to purchase a subscription to read more articles. If they already subscribe to the site, they can authorize their subscription through Facebook without signing up for a Facebook-only subscription.

Publishers can choose whether all or only some of their articles will be behind the paywall, and they can fully control their subscriber data.

There is no information yet on how people will purchase subscriptions through Facebook. Instant Articles are also currently mobile-only, so it’s unclear whether the subscriptions will be available on Facebook’s desktop site.

The testing period will show whether users are even willing to pay for the subscription. The official paywall plan won’t go into effect until 2018 or later, so Facebook and the publishers involved should have time to work out any issues they encounter during testing.

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