Bulletin, Facebook’s long-rumored independent news site, has officially launched. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch via an audio conference, saying that it was a “reaction to what’s occurring in the media environment.”
There will be a mix of free and paid newsletters in the bulletin. Paid users will have access to not only content behind a paywall, but also to extra features like specialised Facebook Groups and special badges.
Facebook, like the newsletter startup Substack, is paying authors to contribute to Bulletin. Facebook will not take a percentage of its writers’ earnings, according to Zuckerberg, and will allow them to move their work and subscribers to other platforms as well.
Authors will be able to advertise their articles via podcasts, audio rooms, and other platforms.
Bulletin, unlike Facebook’s previous news-related projects, will exist outside of the main Facebook app. It will have its own website and identity, but Facebook’s distribution mechanisms will be used. Bulletin will be integrated into a writer’s Facebook page, and readers will be able to access it through Facebook’s built-in news stream.
Authors from CNN and ESPN are among the first contributors to the Bulletin. The site is now in a “closed beta” stage, and it’s unclear when more writers will be introduced to the mix, aside from those chosen by Facebook.
However, now that it has been formally released, it will not be long until it is made available to the general public.