More subscribe-to-read links could be coming to Facebook later this year

facebook instant article subscription coming
Alaskla/123RF
Facebook’s Instant Articles designed to load faster than simply linking to a web page may soon be getting their own paywalls. In an update on the platform’s Journalism Project on Thursday, July 20, Facebook shared that Instant Article subscription support is currently under development.

Many major newspapers, including the New York Times, allow readers a set number of articles per month free, but charge subscription rates for full access. The upcoming update will give publishers the option to essentially do the same thing with Instant Articles on Facebook. Publications that choose to use a subscription model will take readers to a subscription page when clicking on an Instant Article. The feature is also expected to include a page limit, for example, allowing readers to view ten free articles per month but then taking browsers to the subscription page once that limit is reached.

When the feature launches later this year, the change will likely mean that companies already using paywalls will be more likely to use Instant Articles. For readers, that means subscribers might see faster load times and a better viewing experience as more paid publications adopt to Instant Articles.

The new feature reportedly comes as a result of several publications requesting it. Paywalls are common for larger publications on a general web browser, but the update would migrate the feature over to Instant Articles.

Instant Articles is an option for news outlets to publish articles directly on Facebook, based on the idea that the faster load times will encourage more views. Facebook says that over 10,000 publishers use the feature, a number that’s grown by 25 percent in just six months.

The announcement for the upcoming paywall feature comes just as Facebook is introducing a way for publishers to better monitor their Instant Articles. On July 19, Facebook launched Instant Articles Analytics, a platform for publishers to see how the Instant Articles are performing, including comparing the integrated articles to basic web links.

The updates come as the platform marks six months into the Facebook Journalism Project, which aims to create more meaningful conversations by developing more journalism-focused features. Facebook says it will continue exploring ways to further enhance journalism on Facebook, including more effort to stop the spread of fake news, an ongoing project for the social media platform. Additional steps will also include features geared towards local news outlets.

Smart Home

SiriusXM, Amazon team up for two Echo Dot deals with freebies

Amazon and SiriusXM partnered on two joint promotions. New SiriusXM subscribers can receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. People who already own an Echo device can sign up for new SiriusXM subscription with the first three months free.
Home Theater

Spotify Premium cribs from Pandora with new Endless Artist Radio feature

As Pandora continues to catch up to Spotify in terms of the features it offers, Spotify is returning the favor, adding Endless Artist Radio for Premium subscribers as well as other features such as newly streamlined navigation.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.