Rumors have persisted for years that Facebook would soon charge its users for access to the social network. It’s a notion that’s been viewed as preposterous but now, it’s partially coming to fruition.
Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, recently revealed at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York that many of their newspaper and digital publishing partners have been calling for a paid subscription product.
As the saying goes, “ask and you shall receive”.
Brown said that Facebook in October will begin testing a paywall subscription system atop its Instant Articles feature that’ll cut non-paying users off after they’ve accessed 10 articles.
Sources familiar with the matter tell CNET that specifics of the payment process are still being ironed out but if publishers are pleased with preliminary test results, a full-scale rollout could take place sometime in 2018.
Brown said at the conference that the initiative, which has been in the works for a while now, is aimed at appeasing news organizations that have complained about having little control over how their stories are exhibited on Facebook.
Just last week, an alliance of around 2,000 media organizations spoke to Congress regarding the right to negotiate with Facebook and Google which they claim benefit from the work of journalists without fairly compensating them for the content they put out.
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