The social media giant, Facebook, has just recently launched a new platform for creatives – Facebook Bulletin. Aspiring, independent writers in the world are excited that finally, they have a platform to publish their works that could reach billions of people all around the world.
Bloggers for websites are the OGs in content creation. It all started with that – written work. Before all the social media platforms, micro-blogging sites, TikTok, or YouTube, written blogs connect creatives to readers. But through the years, with the advent of advancing technology, we start to forget about personal blogs and exchanged reading prose with watching makeup tutorials and dance challenges.
The idea of Facebook’s bulletin is ambitious, but could it really boost all independent creatives out there?
What is Facebook Bulletin?
This new platform is a service for writers. The goal is to help aspiring, independent writers grow their following. Bulletin also provides a platform for aspiring writers to create their own brands and monetize their content without having to use third-party websites for presence.
Facebook Bulletin has a set of tools for writers. This includes publishing tools and a CMS. This means that creatives can create their own standalone websites with the help of Bulletin and take their subscribers there. Now, Facebook’s Bulletin does not just cover articles and posts. The platform also has a diverse range of content like podcasts, art, and more.
How does it work?
Let’s go through the experience of getting into the page first, as a reader. That way we will know how to strategize our work to gain the attention of users. The platform is standalone; the app does not feature the new website and we only got there because we read it outside of Facebook. Going in, we were expecting the page to ask us our interests typical to platforms like this but it didn’t. The main page describes what Bulletin is and how it works for readers. There are featured articles, featured publications, and featured writers. But one thing really bugged us throughout that experience, there is no search button anywhere!
Visiting the website, with the eyes of a reader, gave us more questions than answers. What Bulletin promises its creatives is impressive, but how does it work? The goal of Bulletin may actually answer this, as well as the search button issue. Facebook promises to use users’ newsfeeds to feature publications and posts from Bulletin. This means that content on Bulletin will be integrated within Facebook pages. Instead of taking in content from third-party websites, the goal of Bulletin is to create a content bank just within Facebook. So this means that the usual articles you see on your feed may be replaced by content from Bulletin.
How can writers start earning from it?
The easiest way to explain payments would be – it is going to be made via Facebook pay. Facebook users may find articles to read and if they like the topics they may follow featured writers. Now, for users to get access to all the good stuff, they must pay a premium through Facebook Pay. Bulletin promises its writers that they will receive 100% of the subscription fees. Creatives also have the ability to control certain features to encourage readers to subscribe. This may include commenting, being on the email list, or getting notifications for new content.
How exactly writers can monetize their work (other than through exclusive subscription) on the platform still remains unclear. Clicks, views, visits, or user interactions – these have not been discussed yet. One thing is clear though – monetization may not work like your typical SEO.
The good and the bad
The main question, of course, is how do writers get subscriptions? Bulletin is launched not as a tab on the Facebook app. Instead, it is launched as a standalone website (Bulletin.com). How can writers take leverage of the Facebook community? Unlike other websites that do not necessarily require log-ins for readers to gain access to content, Bulletin gives readers an option to log in with their Facebook accounts. Maybe the goal here is to have a “newsfeed” based on the browsing behavior of the Facebook user? Right now, it is not evident on the website.
Why did they create Bulletin separately from Facebook? There are a lot of good answers for this and the most important is that Facebook wants creatives to create their own brands. The Facebook community is only a jumping point to gaining subscriptions. But the reality is, there are a lot of people who are not on Facebook. The goal is to help creatives gain exposure and confidence through Facebook, and limiting exposure within the social media platform may be a hindrance for the creative.
For Facebook Bulletin’s Future
At the moment, since it is in its beta phase, the service is only available in the US. The features (both for the readers and the creatives) are still very limited. In fact, they only have a selection of featured writers and publications.
The good thing is that more features and tools will be made available in the months to come. This means that if you think that the platform is still glitchy, or the tools are not enough, there is space for Facebook to still develop what you need. Little by little, as the platform gains widespread success in the US, the feature will also be launched in other places in the world.