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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook will soon begin testing partnerships with a small group of independent writers for its new publishing platform, sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: The platform, which includes tools for journalists to build actual websites, in addition to newsletters, will be tested with a small group of writers, some of whom Facebook plans to pay to help get the tools off the ground.

Details: The publishing platform, which has yet to be officially named, is free-to-use, and will be integrated with Facebook Pages, sources say.

  • The Pages integration will allow writers, journalists, and other types of professional experts to publish content outside of text, like live videos and "Stories" status updates.
  • In time, Facebook plans to build tools within the platform that allow writers to monetize their websites and newsletters with subscriptions, and possibly other forms of revenue down the line.
  • The platform is meant to help writers create an audience community that is loyal and engaged. Facebook will allow writers to create Groups for their products on the Facebook, and will provide writers with metrics about how content is performing.

Be smart: Beginning around four years ago, Facebook began investing in incubator programs, products and events that are geared towards helping news companies, especially at the local level, build sustainable revenue streams.

  • It also created a separate feature called the "News Tab" as a dedicated space for news on Facebook where it has paid partnerships with many established news companies.
  • Now, it's trying to help find ways individual journalists can thrive as creators.

The big picture: The pandemic has prompted many high-profile journalists to leaving newsrooms to launch their own newsletters or websites. Now, tech companies are getting in on the trend.

  • Twitter acquired Revue, a newsletter platform for writers and publishers, in January, and has already begun integrating its newsletter platform into its main product. It recently announced a new feature that allows users to charge their followers for more content via a payment tool called "Super Follows."
  • LinkedIn, which is home to one of the largest communities of professionals on the internet, also plans to launch a creator program, that would work closely with the company's editorial arm, made up of many former journalists.

Go deeper: Pandemic spurs journalists to go it alone

Go deeper

Exclusive: Texas nonprofit got massive border contract after hiring Biden official

Migrants attempting to enter the United States from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: David Peinado/Xinhua via Getty Images

A Texas nonprofit that recently hired a Biden transition official got a contract worth as much as $530 million to help manage the influx of migrant children at the southern border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The contract is by far the largest ever awarded to Family Endeavors. It's potentially worth more than 12 times the group's most recently reported annual budget — a sign of the demand the new work will place on its operations.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: $1 million ad buy defends Georgia law to business critics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A leading conservative group is targeting the business community with a seven-figure ad buy on CNBC and local TV defending Georgia's new voting law from its corporate critics, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: By focusing on the C-suite through a network it watches, Heritage Action for America is offering a rejoinder to some companies — even Major League Baseball — after they waded so prominently into politics.