Facebook, on June 29, launched its newsletter product Bulletin, a standalone platform for free and paid articles and podcasts that will aim to rival Substack. The tech giant said that Bulletin will include support focused on content creation, monetisation and audience growth.
"Through Bulletin, we want to support these creators, and unify our existing tools with something that could more directly support great writing and audio content — from podcasts to Live Audio Rooms — all in one place," Facebook said in a statement.
The company has also stressed that "anyone who partners with us will have complete editorial independence".
Facebook said it would not take a cut of Bulletin creators' revenue at launch and that creators can choose their own subscription prices.
The company said it was primarily launching with US creators and it was not accepting new ones. But, it said the Bulletin site was available worldwide and it would look to add more international names after the beta test.
What is Facebook Bulletin?
Facebook Bulletin is a set of publishing and subscription tools. Each Bulletin creator will have a standalone website under their own brand, and will be able to customize their publication’s name, logo and colour palette.
Facebook said that creators can customize their articles with multi-media embeds & other styling options. It said content will be eligible for distribution in Facebook News and other discovery surfaces to help audiences easily find it and subscribe.
The company said it will include tools to distribute podcasts in addition to long-form writing, including externally-hosted podcasts and additional audio features coming soon.
The Bulletin will integrate with Facebook Pages to enable publishing across various multimedia formats.
How does Facebook Bulletin work?
Writers using Facebook Bulletin will be able to offer a range of subscription-based features, including content, commenting abilities and Facebook groups accessible only by subscribers.
Bulletin writers will keep all of their subscription revenue for the length of these partnerships, and will have the ability to take their subscriber lists and content with them.
Subscription payments will be securely handled by Facebook Pay, allowing subscribers to pay with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account.
The tech giant will also offer analytics tools to help writers understand their audience and grow their subscribers over time.
It is also offering a multi-year licensing deal to give these writers time to build a relationship with their readers.
Creators can also create Facebook groups, free or subscriber-only, to nurture a community of readers. Within their groups, they'll also have the ability to create subscriber-only content or host subscriber-only conversations.
Creators using Facebook Bulletin
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the platform during the launch event and introduced some of the writers that the company has recruited in a live audio room on Facebook.
Here are some of the popular creators and their content found on BulletinAdam Grant, Adam Grant Thinks Again; Erin Andrews, The Real Deal with Erin Andrews; Dorie Greenspan, xoxo Dorie; Jane Wells, Wells Street; Malcolm Gladwell, Oh, MG; Tan France, Tan France's Real Reality; Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution.