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Facebook Launches “Bulletin” for Independent Writers

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Mega tech company Facebook launched its newsletter product called “Bulletin” on Tuesday.

Bulletin would be a standalone platform for free and paid articles and podcasts. Its main aim will be to compete against rival Substack.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared the platform, which is live at Bulletin.com, and introduced some of the writers. These writers had been recruited by the company in a live audio room on Facebook.

The firm is trying its best to compete in the fast-growing email newsletter trend, as many prominent journalists and writers have left media companies over the past year to start something on their own.

Substack is a self-publishing platform that helps writers sell email subscriptions. Moreover, it has tempted journalists with cash advances.

Other tech companies including Twitter Inc are also a part of the competition, and thus, acquired newsletter platform Revue.

Facebook said it would not take a cut of Bulletin creators’ revenue at launch and that creator can choose their own subscription prices.

However, it is launching the platform with several eminent personalities and writers, including sportscaster Erin Andrews, author Malcolm Gladwell and “Queer Eye” star Tan France.

The social network has had a riotous relationship with the news industry, which came to a head in February after an argument with the Australian government overpaying news channels for content.

After the conflict, Facebook vowed to invest $1 billion in the news industry worldwide over the next three years.

According to the company, the articles and podcasts would also be available through the Facebook News Feed and Facebook’s News section.

“We built Bulletin on a separate website to enable creators to grow their audience in ways that are not exclusively dependent on the Facebook platform,” it said on the new site.

Facebook said it was mainly launching with US creators and it was not accepting new ones at this time. But it said the Bulletin site was available worldwide and it would look to add more international names after the beta test.

In April, Facebook said it would pay $5 million to recruit independent local journalists to write for its new publishing platform.

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