Facebook launches its own news product Bulletin, which is an independent platform for free and paid articles and podcasts aimed at competing with Substack.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the platform, which is available via Bulletin.com, and introduced some of the writers the company had lured into an audio room live via Facebook.
Facebook is pushing to compete in the fast-growing trend of email newsletters, as prominent journalists and writers have left media companies over the past year to act on their own.
Substack has been a pioneer in helping writers sell email subscriptions, and has attracted journalists with cash advances.
Other tech companies are also competing in this space, including Twitter, which has acquired newsletter platform Revue.
Facebook said it would not take a portion of the proceeds from Bulletin content makers at launch. Substack takes a 10 percent commission from subscriptions. Revue gets a 5 percent commission.
Via Bulletin, content creators can choose their own subscription prices. Writers retain full ownership of their work and subscriber list.
Facebook is launching the platform with a number of prominent personalities and writers, including Erin Andrews, Malcolm Gladwell and Tan France. This covers a range of topics, from sports and finance to science and medicine.
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Facebook launches Bulletin
Zuckerberg said Bulletin is part of the social media giant’s mission to continue developing monetization tools for content creators.
The social network has had a turbulent relationship with the news industry, which came to a head in February after a standoff with the Australian government over paying news outlets for content.
In the wake of the conflict, Facebook pledged to invest $1 billion in the news industry globally over the next three years.
The company said articles and podcasts are also available through the Facebook News Feed and through the Facebook News section.
She explained that she created Bulletin via a separate website. This is to enable content creators to grow their audience in ways that do not rely exclusively on the Facebook platform.
It added that it launched Bulletin primarily with US creators and is not accepting new content creators at this time. But she said Bulletin is available worldwide. He is looking forward to adding more international names after the beta test.
In April, the social media giant said it was paying $5 million to recruit freelance local journalists to write on the new platform.