What just happened? Facebook has launched a newsletter service that aims to form subscriber communities where users can directly contact creators while also supporting their work through premium subscriptions. Premium subscriptions are processed through Facebook Pay, but free content is accessible even to those without a Facebook account.
Available now, Bulletin allows users to find articles, podcasts and more about various topics. Whether it's about food, science, sports or any other subject you might enjoy, Bulletin lets you find multiple subscriber communities to discuss with others and access live audio rooms where you can get in contact with your favorite creators.
Depending on the creators' publication, there's free content you can enjoy and paid premium subscriptions (via Facebook Pay) to support the creator and unlock privileges like badges, exclusive content, and more.
"The goal here is to support millions of people doing creative work," said the chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in a conference call. "More and more independent writers are discovering ways to use their voice and make money through other avenues, similar to the ones we're introducing here."
Bulletin already has multiple creators covering a wide range of topics. Some of these creators include New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, the journalist and author Mitch Albom, and the organizational psychologist Adam Grant. For now, the list of creators consists mostly of US creators. Once the beta program launches, Bulletin will look for more international writers to complete their ranks.
At launch, Facebook won't take a cut from the subscriptions. Moreover, when writing for Bulletin, creators have full ownership of their work and subscription lists (it shouldn't be any other way), allowing creators to take their subscribers with them if they decide to move to another platform.
Facebook's Bulletin is the company's answer to emerging newsletter subscription services like Substack and Twitter-owned Revue. At first glance, one key advantage of using Bulletin is that it doesn't take a fee from the subscriptions, where Substack takes 10% and Revue 5%, but that might change in the future.
Masthead credit: Alex Haney