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Facebook to test published news stories that can be read for free on its Instant Articles platform

A
paywall is under construction in Facebook’s Instant Articles section
where the social network has agreements with select outlets to publish
directly to the platform, according to a story initially published
online at TheStreet / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Facebook will test limiting the number of published news stories that
can be read for free on its Instant Articles platform for premium
publishers, US media reported on Wednesday.

The leading social network has become a major source of news for
people, triggering complaints by publishers that they lose control and
revenue when their stories are shared free at Facebook.

A paywall is under construction in Facebook’s Instant Articles
section where the social network has agreements with select outlets to
publish directly to the platform, according to a story initially
published online at TheStreet

The service was launched two years ago and competes with Google’s AMP
that also optimizes content from select media for mobile web browsing.

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Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown said at a digital
publishing conference in New York on Tuesday that the social network is
responding to publishers’ concerns with the move, TheStreet reported.

Facebook in October will begin testing a feature that limits to 10
the number of stories that can be accessed in its “Instant Articles”
section and guides readers to publisher home pages to consider buying
subscriptions, according to media reports.

California-based Facebook did not respond to an AFP request for comment.
Instant Articles aggregates published stories and quickly loads mobile pages to cater to smartphone or tablet users.

“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,” TheStreet
quoted Brown as saying at the conference.
“And that is something we’re doing now.”

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