Jun 27, 2018

Facebook: Early tests show Instant Article subscription push working

Images: Facebook

Facebook says that early tests for its news subscription product have been successful: People who saw Instant articles from publishers in its test group in May were 17% more likely to subscribe to those publications directly from Facebook than people who saw standard web links.

Why it matters: Facebook says the results show that its efforts to help publishers create meaningful revenue streams outside of advertising on are effective.

"We're seeing a healthy double-digit increase."
— Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products

What they're saying: Executives from several publications, including The Washington Post and Hearst, write that they are so far pleased with the tests' performance.

  • Facebook says it's adding updates to the initial product, including tools that enable publishers to define when a reader sees a paywall, more flexible meters (monthly vs. weekly vs. daily, etc.), and support for occasion-based special offers (like a July 4th discount.)

What's next: Other subscription investments are also in the works.

  • Facebook says it will begin working with publishers in Latin America to integrate their subscription models into Instant Articles as well, like O Globo in Brazil.
  • It's also testing a button on a publisher's Facebook page that allows a publisher to promote their subscription offer. (They hope to add this in a few months.)

The bigger picture: Hardiman says that sharing data with publishers on the effectiveness of tests can better inform a subscription roadmap to help elevate publishers' subscription efforts.

"Our goal is that wherever there is news content on Facebook, we want to give publishers better tools to drive subscriptions."

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

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4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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