Today, Facebook announced that they would launch a test to support the new subscription models in Instant Articles over the next couple of weeks. Facebook is looking forward to a partnership with a small group of publishers across the US and Europe. Though the initial test will be limited to Android devices, only Facebook is hoping to expand it in the future.
The company said it would be the direct result obtained from work done through the Facebook journalism project. Facebook has taken this step after listening to news publishers worldwide, with one sole purpose of better understanding their needs and goals. The social media giant wants to collaborate with the publishers even more closely on developing the new products from the beginning of the procedure. The publishers have identified subscriptions as their top priority.
Facebook is planning to invest in Instant Articles because the recent data usage statistics have shown that people prefer the faster loading mobile reading experience over the other resources. This year alone, the average revenue per page view has increased by over 50%, with the Instant Articles paying out more than $1 million per day to publishers via its Audience Network.
On this new project, Facebook will be working along with some heavyweight names in the industry like Bild, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Hearst (The Houston Chronicle and The San Francisco Chronicle), La Repubblica, Le Parisien, Spiegel, The Telegraph, tronc (The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Diego Union-Tribune), and The Washington Post.
In this new procedure, a paywall will be supported in Instant Articles for metered models as well as the freemium models. The non-subscribed users will be prompted to subscribe for full access to the content. When the user subscribes, the transaction will take place on the publisher’s website, enabling them to process the payment directly and keep the entire revenue. The subscriber data’s pricing and ownership will be under direct access and full control of the publisher only. The subscriptions include full access, and the already subscribed users will get to authenticate their subscription within instant articles to get full access.
Facebook is also planning to include a Subscribe Call-to-Action (CTA) unit and introduce a ‘Subscribe’ button to replace the ‘Like’ button on articles.
Facebook will monitor the users’ reactions thoroughly throughout this test period. They will analyze this data sitting with their partners to decide their future plans.