Facebook Will Now Charge Money To Read Articles!

Facebook's latest monetization strategy is charging money for reading articles. Will it work?

Instant Articles would be now paid. Will it work?
Instant Articles would be now paid. Will it work?

Facebook has decided to implement a new form of monetization on their platform, which has now 2 billion users. Their master plan is to charge money from users, who want to read articles being published directly on their portal via Instant Articles.

Analysts are questioning this logic, as they are pondering hard over this question: Will the disappointment of Instant Articles be repeated now?

Facebook Wants To Charge Money For Reading Articles

During Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York, Facebook’s news partnerships head Campbell Brown announced that they will launch a paywall within Instant Articles, which will allow only paid readers to read the content.

As per Campbell, publishers who are (still) part of Instant Articles, have requested Facebook to deploy this paywall mechanism. And Facebook is simply complying with that request.

He said, “One of the things we heard in our initial meetings from many newspapers and digital publishers is that ‘we want a subscription product — we want to be able to see a paywall in Facebook.”, adding, “And that is something we’re doing now. We are launching a subscription product.”

As per reports coming in, a new paywall mechanism would be deployed within Instant Articles. When a reader will click on a particular paywall protected article on Instant Articles, he will be directed towards the publisher’s own website, wherein he would be required to pay for reading the content.

Both a premium and metered paid plans would be introduced within this new system.

The plans and charges for the digital subscription, it seems, would be determined by the publisher, with Facebook taking a cut, as per speculations.

Starting October, the trial run of this new paywall powered Instant Articles will start, which is seen as an ‘appeasement’ step for publishers.

Disappointment Of Instant Articles Will Be Repeated?

The foundation of the new paid articles program is Instant Articles, which has been seen as a major disappointment by the publishers.

Complains of less revenues and less traffic has been regularly being directed towards Instant Articles platform, and the new paywall scheme can be the result of these complaints.

New York Times, one of the leading participants of Instant Articles pulled their plug, and started providing lesser articles to Facebook.

The Times, another elite participant of Instant Articles, stopped using it after a year and a half, because they discovered disappointing results in terms of revenues and eyeballs, both.

While Bloomberg never participated in IA, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, CBS News, NPR, the Financial Times and Vice News always advocated against the format.

It seems that Facebook needs to fight on two fronts here: Competition from Google’s AMP platform, which uses similar business model like that of Instant Articles, and the complains from existing publishers regarding less revenue.

Will paywall solve these issues? Or this would be yet another disappointment from Facebook. Do let us know by commenting right here!

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