Facebook is getting ready to let media outlets charge readers for access to their stories.
The social network has started briefing publishers on the forthcoming subscription service and hopes to start testing it by October, according to a person familiar with the matter.
While details are still be ironed out, Facebook is currently telling publishers they will be able to show at least 10 free articles per month before the paywall kicks in. Payment and financial details haven’t been determined, but publishers will have full access and control of their subscriber data.
Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, confirmed the subscription service is coming at an industry conference in New York on Tuesday.
“One of the things we heard in our initial meetings from many newspapers and digital publishers is that ‘we want a subscription product — we want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook,'” Brown said at the conference, according to The Street. “And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.”
With subscriptions, Facebook is opening up another way to make money off its platform at a time when some of its other publisher offerings, such as Instant Articles, have disappointed publishers. Facebook is also testing mid-roll video ads with a handful of publishers that it plans to eventually roll out to everyone.