Facebook Builds a Platform for Independent Journalism

A New Tool for Writers and Creators

Facebook (FB) is building a new publishing platform which will give journalists and other professionals ways to create newsletters, videos, and more. These creators will also be able to build their own websites on the platform, andFacebook will give them tools to analyze readership metrics and grow their audiences.

Facebook is testing the yet-to-be named platform with a small group of independent writers. It then hopes to roll it out to the wider population. The service will be free for writers to use. Eventually, Facebook hopes to build ways for writers to monetize their websites and newsletters through selling subscriptions and other methods.

Changes in the Journalism Industry

The past year has been tumultuous for the journalism industry, both because of the pandemic and because of political events. A number of well-known journalists have resigned from publications and started their own newsletters on Substack and other independent publishing services, and some readers have begun following specific journalists rather than publications.

These trends have caused financial difficulties for traditional news outlets, prompting discussions about social media’s impact on the ways people consume news. Earlier this month, Facebook was involved in a high-profile dispute with the Australian government surrounding the way it uses news content to generate ad revenue without paying the outlets creating this content. It was announced yesterday that News Corp (NWSA) and Facebook signed a deal which will give the 17 million Facebook users in Australia access to News Corp articles.

Competition from Twitter and LinkedIn

Facebook is not the only company picking up on changes in the journalism industry and building platforms in response to these trends. Twitter (TWTR) purchased newsletter platform Revue in January. The social media company has already started integrating Revue into its main platform.

LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft (MSFT), is also making plans to roll out a platform for journalists and creators to share their work. These changes in the journalism industry could have a significant impact on the ways people consume information. Investors, politicians, journalists, and everyday news readers will be eager to watch as Facebook’s new platform takes shape.

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