If you have Facebook on your iOS device, you might want to know about an upcoming subscription paywall that will be coming sometime next month. This new paywall will allow for the publishers of news content to protect their work through the use of fees. The new subscription paywall will be live beginning on March 1. Read on to learn more about what the new paywall could mean for you if you read the news on your Facebook iOS account.
Subscription Paywall Coming to Facebook iOS App in March
The Facebook iOS app is soon going to have a paywall subscription option for news content. This means that publishers will be able to hide their content behind this paywall. Android already has this feature, and now it will be coming to iOS. Beginning on March 1, the new agreement will be rolled out. Basically, you will have a certain number of free Instant Articles each month that you can read. Once you have reached your monthly limit on these articles, you will be redirected to the publisher subscription page.
Apple is making some money off of this too, since they charge a 30 percent fee on the subscriptions that are sold. When it comes to the publisher though, they are not charged this fee and keep 100 percent of the subscriptions that they generate through Facebook. In order to make the 30 percent back, the publishers will often times make the prices higher if you subscribe through iOS. Other publishers also have chosen to just avoid offering these subscriptions through the iOS platform itself.
Facebook iOS App Launching Subscription Paywall
Publishers have been asking that Facebook lower the amount of free Instant Articles that people are getting access to though. The publishers want the limit to go down to five free articles a month, which would mean more potential money coming in for those publishers. Facebook said that it is working to direct the user right to the subscription page on the publisher’s website. The company is trying to win back publishers after a study came out showing how many publishers are now no longer fans of the Instant Article feature.
News articles through the Facebook Instant Articles program load about 10 times quicker, and it benefits Facebook since people do not leave the app to view the news. The Instant Articles feature allows the publishers to quickly get their content out there. Even with the publicity, some publishers are still not very happy. In fact, about half of all publishers who initially were part of the program have left, which is pretty significant. Back in 2015, about 75 publishers were part of the program, and now only 38 of those are left.
Subscription Paywall Might Bring Back Publishers
The Guardian and the New York Times had both left the Instant Articles program after last year, with both saying monetizing the content was difficult. The hope is that the new paywall will help with that problem of monetizing the content. It is possible that more publishers will sign back up for the Instant Articles program if this feature is successful. There is also the possibility that news content on Facebook is just not viable and this makes everything worse.
Tell us in the comments what you think of the new subscription paywall feature. Do you think that this will get some of those publishers back onto the Facebook Instant Articles program? Are you happy or mad that there is now going to be a paywall on news content through Facebook. Let us know in the comments what you think of this news and if it will affect how much news you read through Facebook.