Facebook launched a newsletter subscription service on Tuesday, an effort to attract influential writers to its platform as more and more creators branch out from traditional and independent publications. .
To launch the service, called Bulletin, Facebook spent months recruiting dozens of writers from a variety of fields — including sports, entertainment, science, and health — to pay them upfront to work. bring their readers to Facebook’s platform. Authors include New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, author Mitch Albom, and organizational psychologist Adam Grant. Facebook plans to expand the program and partner with more writers over time.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, said: “The goal here is to support millions of people doing creative work.
Newsletter participants can share their articles via email to subscribers, using the Facebook platform’s vast reach to build their personal following. Mr. Zuckerberg said he also wants Bulletin to be a place for journalists to promote their podcasts and audio projects, ideally using Facebook’s recently introduced audio tools.
The new service is part of a newsletter revival across the media industry. While newsletters are not new, the recent growth of newsletter-focused startups like Substack and Revue has renewed interest in the form. Mainstream publishers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times are also experimenting with newsletter products to attract and retain readers.
Zuckerberg has long said that Facebook is about “giving everyone a voice,” and he has closely watched the rise of emerging companies like Substack, which provide individuals with tools and payment infrastructure to build and grow their own following through email newsletters.
After following the development and progress of Substack, Zuckerberg ordered the lieutenants to consider building a competitive product earlier this year, The New York Times reported. Twitter, too, saw an opportunity in the newsletter and bought Revue in January.
Facebook is attracting writers by not cutting any subscription fees at launch, the company said. Substack accounts for 10 percent and Revue for 5 percent. Facebook hasn’t said when or which creators it will charge in the future.
Initial articles and podcasts will be available on individual creators’ publishing pages, on Facebook News Feed, and in the Facebook News tab.