Facebook is letting 10 media outlets charge readers subscriptions to view stories


Facebook said it would soon roll out the test to support new subscription models in Instant Articles in partnership with a news organizations in the U.S. and Europe, starting with the Android application. The first choice is a model where everyone gets to read ten free stories per month before having to subscribe. Well now it's October, and surprise - Facebook has started testing subscription support for instant articles! "We also heard from publishers that maintaining control over pricing, offers, subscriber relationships, and 100 percent of the revenue are critical to their businesses, and this test is created to do that". Facebook recently introduced a tool that helps publishers using Apple News also publish content using Instant Articles and ease the workload, but the paywall limitation will remain a sticking point for now.

If you decide to subscribe, you'll be sent to the publisher's website to complete the transaction.

When someone who isn't a subscriber hits one of these paywalls, they will be promoted to subscribe for full access to the publishers' content. But, not everyone is happy about the business arrangement. That's because the service will require a paid subscription, and Apple wants its usual cut for revenue generated through the App Store.

Apple is resisting the program because it demands a split of in-app revenue, and it couldn't come to terms with Facebook on how to categorize these transactions, according to people familiar with the impasse.

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For this reason the feature isn't launching yet on Apple - only Android, which doesn't have any restrictions on how subscriptions can be sold. The company has confirmed that the test is going to be rolled out on Android devices first.

The social network giant said it will test "premium news models" for organizations that deliver their content on Facebook, to enable the publishers to have more control over pricing, subscriber relationships and revenue.

Facebook said it's testing this with a "small group of publishers" in the United States and Europe, including The Boston Globe, The Economist, The Houston Chronicle, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Washington Post.