Facebook to test Instant Articles paywall on iOS devices
MANILA, Philippines - According to TechCrunch, Facebook has already come to an agreement with Apple regarding the subscription paywalls for their Instant Articles product and will begin testing on March 1.
Facebook has been running the same tests on Android since October last year. These tests involved putting up paywalls and subscriptions for Facebook’s Instant Articles, the mobile publishing format that lets publishers distribute articles directly to the Facebook app allowing it to load and display faster.
The social media giant has experimented with different paywall options for publishers in its Android tests. The first is a metered model where users can read 10 stories per month before being prompted to subscribe while the other is a freemium model that lets publishers decide which articles to lock.
Once a user decides to subscribe, they are directed by Facebook to the publisher’s page outside of Instant Articles, permitting the publisher to keep 100% of the revenue.
A lot of the initial conflict between Apple and Facebook revolved around Apple’s policy that it gets 30% revenue from subscriptions on 3rd-party iOS apps.
So, to circumvent this, Facebook now plans to load the subscription page on the publisher’s mobile site, instead of it being in Instant Articles or the Facebook app itself. This means that publishers still get the entire share of the subscription revenue.
Taking all that they’ve learned in the past months of testing, Facebook is also tweaking the experience for iOS – one of which is that from the original 10 free Instant Articles, it will now be 5. After the 5 free articles, users will be prompted to subscribe, should the publication they're reading has a paywall or subscription service. – Rappler.com