Facebook discussing metered paywalls for publishers on platform

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July 21, 2017 by Paul Dughi

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IMAGE:  Facebook

Publishers that have tried out Facebook’s Instant Articles have been pleased with the speed in which pages load, but not necessarily pleased about the economics.  By keeping readers within Facebook’s walled garden, publishers didn’t see the activity translate directly to page views – and exposure to the accompanying ads.  Ad space on Instant Articles have been fewer.

Paywall?

Now, the next evolution of Facebook Instant Articles may be a paywall.  Discussions are underway to allow a metered paywall.

“We are beginning to build a tool to support subscriptions within Instant Articles and plan to start testing with a small group of partners later this year.” – Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships via blog post.

Brown reported that more than $1 million dollars per day is paid to publishers via Instant Articles using the Facebook Audience Network.  More than 10,000 publishers worldwide are using Instant Articles and account for a third of all clicks on the platform, according to Facebook.

Other Intiatives

Other initiatives highlighted in the six month report on the Facebook Journalism Project include:

  • Call to Action buttons directing readers to sign-up for email newsletters and soliciting Page Likes.
  • Free trial and mobile app installs from articles.
  • The ability to publish simultaneously to Google AMP (and soon Apple News) through the Instant Articles SDK.
  • More flexible ad density (read – more ads on pages) and new ad spaces.

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