Facebook hopes to release Bulletin, a newsletter subscription product similar to Substack, at the end of June.
And Substack has made email newsletters a standard. Then Twitter bought one of Substack’s competitors and launched its own version.
Now it’s Facebook’s turn, as the social network prepares to enter its Bulletin newsletters.
The company plans to offer both free and paid versions of the platform. Many of Facebook’s first newsletters come from writers who focus on sports, fashion and the environment.
There will also be a local news corner in line with the company’s journalism project.
Bulletin is all about finding a writer you love, covering something you’re interested in, and subscribing to get regular content in your inbox.
While the company is using Facebook to market Bulletin, the platform will not exist across the social network.
When you click on the Bulletin link while using the Facebook app, it opens in a separate browser window where you can read the story or sign up for the newsletter.
This is because Facebook hopes to create a separate brand for Bulletin, particularly at a time when readers and writers may not trust the company. The company also wants to avoid paying App Store commissions to Apple and Google.
Facebook enters the field of newsletters:
For the writers, Facebook is said to be touting the platform as a way to tap into an audience of nearly 2.9 billion people and take advantage of its ability to target specific individuals to help them find paying readers.
Facebook offered journalists two-year deals, with the option to leave after the first 12 months, to convince them it was committed to the project.
Notably, the company does its best to avoid writers who cover political topics.
Facebook previously said it was directing at least $5 million to support local journalists interested in starting or continuing their work through Bulletin.
“We want to do more to support journalists and independent experts who are building businesses and audiences online,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, told the New York Times when the platform’s news first came out.
“We’re exploring ways to help them take advantage of the news products we’ve built, like Facebook News and subscriptions, while also building new tools to complement what journalists have found useful.”
It is not yet known if Facebook is offering writers an opportunity to earn money from subscription sales in addition to the payments they make. But the company previously suggested that it would not take a portion of the subscription revenue generated by the book.
Substack takes 10 percent of her book’s subscription fee, and Twitter’s Revue takes 5 percent.
The three companies tell the writers that they can take the list of email subscribers with them if they leave.
The Bulletin product coincides with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s new interest in supporting the economy of content makers, which he talked about when he unveiled Facebook’s plans to create a range of audio products.