Facebook is letting 10 media outlets charge readers subscriptions to view stories

Mark ZuckerbergGettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
  • 10 media outlets, including The Washington Post and The Telegraph, will introduce metered paywalls on Facebook’s Instant Articles.
  • The paywall will kick in after 10 free articles are viewed in one month, and Facebook won’t take a cut of subscriptions for now.
  • The test is starting in the US and Europe and will only be visible on Android devices at first.

Facebook is giving media outlets a new way to make money: subscriptions.

The social network announced Thursday that 10 news publishers are participating in a metered paywall test, which requires readers to pay a subscription fee if they want to view more than 10 free stories per month.

Facebook first said it was working on subscriptions back in July, and a spokesperson said the test will begin on Android devices in the US and Europe before being made available more broadly.

Media outlets participating in the test include Bild (which is owned by Business Insider parent company Axel Springer), The Boston Globe, The Economist, The Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and others. For the subscription feature to work, media organisations must be using Facebook’s Instant Articles format, which allows articles to load faster on Facebook’s social network.

Interestingly, Facebook is letting publishers keep 100% of the revenue from subscriptions. Each transaction will take place on the publisher’s website and not Facebook, according to a spokesperson.

Android20subscriptionsFacebookWhat encountering a paywall on Facebook looks like.

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