Facebook to test news paywalls on iOS

Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown said that publishers wanted to give away five free articles, not ten.

Published: 13th February 2018 10:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2018 10:39 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image. (File | reuters)


NEW YORK: Social media giant Facebook will begin allowing news publishers to run paywalls inside the iOS app from March 1.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown said that publishers wanted to give away five free articles, not ten, so Facebook is switching to that lower threshold before asking users to pay, and that includes bringing the test to iOS.

"We’re working now on a subscription product that we’re moving forward with on iOS on March 1st, which is a breakthrough. We had a hold-up there," TechCrunch quoted Brown as saying.

Facebook, had first started testing paywalls on Android in October 2017, but at that moment, couldn’t reach an agreement with Apple over the subscription revenue.

On Android, Facebook directs users to the publishers’ website to complete the subscription transaction. This means that publishers get to keep 100 percent of the revenue.

All of this is despite the fact that Android’s general rule requires subscriptions to go through Google Payments, with Google getting 30 percent revenue for the first 12 months and then 15 percent.

As of now, it is unclear as to how much revenue will be split on iOS.

Presumably, either Apple will get its 30 percent and publisher the remaining, or the publisher will get to keep it all.

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