It was reported recently that Facebook might enable subscriptions in Instant Articles and the world’s largest social network has confirmed that today. Facebook users will soon be able to subscribe to publications after they’re read their stories in the Instant Articles section. Facebook will start testing Instant Articles subscriptions later this year in the fall.
The confirmation comes straight from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. This is part of Facebook’s effort to help news organizations grow their subscriptions. If users subscribe after seeing news stories on Facebook, the money will go directly to the publishers who work on them. Facebook isn’t going to take a cut.
Facebook’s embrace of subscriptions could have been prompted by major publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal moving away from its Instant Articles platform amid concerns that it’s causing them to lose money without actually growing their audience on the social network.
The social network is now going to start testing Instant Articles subscriptions with a small group of U.S. and European publishers later this year. It’s going to listen to their feedback before deciding whether or not this should be rolled out broadly to more publishers across the globe.
Facebook hasn’t detailed which publishers will be taking part in this test but it could include a variety of newspapers and magazines, even those publications that implement a paywall model to charge for their content.