A standalone newsletter product platform for free and paid articles and podcasts called “Bulletin” was launched by the social media giant Facebook Inc on Tuesday which is slated to compete with Substack.
In a live audio room on Facebook, the launch of the new platform was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The new product is live at Bulletin.com. Zuckerberg alsop introduced some of the writers that the company has recruited to write articles.
With high-profile journalists and writers having left their media companies within the past year to make it out on their own, Facebook is aiming to compete in the fast growing email newsletter trend.
The leader in the business of helping writers in selling email subscriptions is the self-publishing platform Substack and the company has lured journalists with cash advances. With Twitter Inc recently acquiring newsletter platform Revue, interest in this field is alos being shown by other tech companies.
Facebook will allow the creators of the content to choose their own subscription prices and the social media company will also not take a cut of Bulletin creators’ revenue at launch. A number of high profile personalities and writers, including sports caster Erin Andrews, author Malcolm Gladwell and “Queer Eye” star Tan France were hired by Facebook prior to the launch of the platform.
The relationship between the social networking company and the news industry has been a tumultuous one. The issue came to the forefront in February after a showdown with the Australian government over paying news outlets for content. As a fall out of the conflict, an investment of $1 billion in the news industry globally over the next three years was announced by Facebook.
Users will be able to access the articles and podcasts through the Facebook News Feed and through Facebook’s News section, the company said.
“We built Bulletin on a separate website to enable creators to grow their audience in ways that are not exclusively dependent on the Facebook platform,” it said on the new site.
This new service was launched primarily with creators in the United States, Facebook said, and added that the company was not accepting new ones at this time. Users across the world would be able to access the Bulletin site and Facebook would contemplate adding more international names after the beta test.
Facebook had said in April that independent local journalists would be recruited by it to write for its new publishing platform and it would invest $5 million for this purpose.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)