Mark Zuckerberg has taken to making announcements about products in live audio rooms. On Tuesday, he used his Clubhouse competitor to announce the next new thing on Facebook, a newsletter platform known as Bulletin.
Bulletin is built on a separate platform from Facebook. The website made for it says that it was made to enable creators to grow their audience in ways that do not exclusively depend on the Facebook platform.
Users will not need a Facebook account to subscribe to a newsletter. However, the service relies on the infrastructure used by Facebook. Including Facebook Pay.
To purchase premium subscriptions and to join subscription-only groups or access live audio rooms, the users will have to pay using Facebook Pay. Competitors like Substack are taking a hands-off approach for content moderation, allowing anyone to start one.
Every writer currently on Facebook’s Bulletin was picked carefully, to help contribute to the platform. Substack has been scrutinized for its subsidization of anti-trans rhetoric through a controversial program named Substack Pro.
The Bulletin will not escape issues like these, since Substack has tried with a highly curated model and still has problems to deal with.
Some of the writers who have been hand-picked to start the Bulletin include Mitch Albom, Erin Andrews, Tan France, and Malcolm Gladwell. The FAQ says that the beta program is US-centric only with only two international writers at the moment.
The Bulletin says that it is looking to include more international creators after the beta program is launched. Facebook is paying the writers upfront for the contribution and so far, they have not revealed any plans to take a cut of the profits. A special perk of the Bulletin is that the writers who want to leave the platform can take their subscriber lists with them. Time will tell how well the platform works.